New Delhi-primarily based hashish-targeted healthtech startup HempStreet claims to be one in every of India’s first research to retail ventures inside the ayurvedic hashish region
HempStreet has partnered with ayurvedic clinics and medical practitioners to sell its products with prescription
The startup is seeking to leverage blockchain to tune its production chain from sourcing to manufacturing and distributing to clinics
It’s tough to agree with that just over 3 a long time ago, Indians ought to legally devour marijuana and all its derivative merchandise. But how the world has changed due to the fact then that now not simplest has hashish been banned for intake, but now it’s making a roaring comeback.
Till 1985, cannabis changed into felony and turned into extensively accepted in India. But the so-known as war on drugs by using the United States pressured many of its allies to blacklist cannabis. India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act brought a entire ban on the sale and buy of cannabis in India. But many say India is sitting on top of an untouched gold mine. Not most effective does the country have a storied ritualistic tradition revolving around cannabis, but cannabis indica, one of the two number one species inside the hashish circle of relatives, is known as for its incidence in India.
Naturally, legalisation of hashish has been a warm subject matter of debate for decades in India now, and plenty of have wondered the common sense at the back of the prohibition. But even as consumption of marijuana via smoking or edibles is illegitimate, cultivation of hemp and hashish for industrial and medicinal functions has been legalised.
“We don’t have any opinion on whether hashish should be legalised or no longer, as we are just focused on handing over pain alleviation, given the regulatory framework we have today,” says HempStreet founder Abhishek Mohan.
With the authorities’s clearance of utilization of hashish for medical purposes, a slew of new manufacturers have popped up in India. Slowly, the world is unfolding and a whole lot of startups are rising inside the space, which includes HempStreet, Bombay Hemp Company, Be.Hemp, Awega Green, Namrata Hemp Company, NirogStreet, Hemis, Its Hemp and Vedi Herbals among others.
India’s Medical Marijuana Potential
Last 12 months, the Indian government allowed cannabis or hemp (non-drug class) products to be offered on popular ecommerce web sites after necessary due diligence. As consistent with regulation, medical supplements need to include both cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabinoid linked to ache comfort and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive aspect of marijuana, that's primarily what gives someone that excessive while smoking marijuana. Since it's far unlawful to isolate CBD and THC in India, except for research functions, marijuana is handiest allowed for use for medicinal functions inside the Indian market so far.
New Delhi-based hashish healthtech startup HempStreet is a few of the slew of startups focussing on pain control and persistent pain alleviation thru cannabis. It claims to be India’s first research to retail ayurvedic cannabis task. The organisation has been running with scientists, studies establishments like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to conduct research and development around secure medication utilising cannabis.
According to the latest record by way of Grand View Research, the worldwide legal marijuana market is anticipated to touch $seventy three.6 Bn with the aid of the cease of 2027. In 2019, the scientific usage of hashish utilization held a majority sales share of seventy one%, as a result of the growing adoption of hashish as a pharmaceutical product for treating several medical conditions which includes cancer, arthritis, persistent pain relief, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s ailment among others.
Speaking to CFT, Abhishek Mohan, cofounder of HempStreet stated that most ache relief management in recent times does no longer deliver any remedy and extra use of such drugs is frequently risky and addictive. Particularly, addiction to opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and others is a excessive risk element for those in want of pain alleviation.
“The addressable marketplace is in multibillion greenbacks,” stated Mohan. As in step with IMARC document, the demand for pain control capsules is escalating throughout the globe, as the prevalence of continual pain is extensively higher in older adults. In India, 70% of the agricultural populace consumes ayurveda in a few shape or the alternative.
But in preference to putting in place a shop and a distribution network for consumers, HempStreet is seeking to tie up with scientific practitioners, in which sufferers can procure hashish-primarily based dietary supplements with a prescription. “With our network of 60K ayurveda practitioners, we're estimating a footfall of about 37 Mn sufferers each yr,” he introduced, pointing at the marketplace potential for ayurvedic cannabis merchandise.
From R&D To Retail Ayurvedic Cannabis Market
Reengineering the system of making ayurvedic supplements, HempStreet stated that it's miles closely investing in research and improvement analyzing diverse hashish formulations and ailments associated with girls’s menstruation cramps, sleep apnea, anxiety, arthritis and greater.
Founded in 2019, HempStreet become cofounded by Mohan and Aradhna Rai. Besides HempStreet, Mohan is likewise the cofounder of Technology 9 Labs (T9L), which is a undertaking studio with a portfolio of 41 startups and cumulative valuation of $six hundred Mn across its portfolio.
Currently it has 16 accepted products, sells its products through a community of 60K docs and 300+ clinics. “We have lately commenced our manufacturing manner, where we've three products that we are able to be launching within the market quickly. Accordingly, we can be deploying products to the ayurvedic clinics and medical practitioners across India,” shared Mohan.
HempStreet raised $1 Mn in Pre-Series A Funding round led by means of a US-based totally pharmatech agency Pharmacon Holdings and Romain Barberis, a pro personal investor in the cannabis market inside the US and Canada. And it’s looking at the overseas market for further growth given the more recognition for medicinal marijuana in these international locations. “We are already receiving a variety of enquiries from international locations like Germany and Canada, and also a whole lot of investment groups abroad had been achieving out to us,” shared Mohan.
Today, HempStreet positions itself as a B2BC agency, wherein it has partnered with ayurvedic clinics and clinical practitioners to sell its merchandise, so that the medicines are offered to the customers the use of docs prescription most effective, unlike its competition who're following a self-declared omnichannel retail or direct to consumer (D2C) model to promote its cannabis merchandise. “We don’t promote our products online, as we agree with in giving consolation to the regulators in a sector that is rather regulated,” stated Mohan.
However, in the previous couple of months, due to Covid-19 lockdown, many clinics have shut down or had zero foot-fall. HempStreet claimed that handiest four% of its partnered clinics are briefly closed, at the same time as the relaxation of them are still energetic. “Ironically, our ayurvedic practitioners have witnessed a surge in demand inside the current past, as a lot of patients are calling them at the smartphone. Today, human beings have emerge as super conscious about their immunity requirements, and way of life adjustments are taking place across the us of a,” said the cofounder.
Experimenting With Blockchain
In a bid to bring in transparency and traceability inside the ayurvedic cannabis deliver chain, right from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing, dispensing hashish merchandise to clinics and ayurvedic practitioners, the employer is currently experimenting with blockchain tech. With this, the business enterprise goals to music and hint the deliver chain method in order that it isn't always misused or over prescribed via the medication practitioners.
Mohan told CFT that the platform remains within the beta testing phase, and can be capable of share more info as soon as it officially launches its products inside the marketplace. “This is going on for the primary time, and we want to get this proper. Therefore, our duty, at this point, is all approximately aligning toward regulators and quit customers. Since we are dealing with hashish-based totally pain medications, which is not as excessive in comparison to opioids — a failure inside the supply chain can abate the progress,” he delivered.
At gift, HempStreet sources uncooked substances from the nation excise department. However, in the coming months, it plans you obtain the license to installation its own manufacturing base in India, to be able to allow them to bring satisfactory practices to farmers, along operating with the excise department, manufacture and distribute it to clinics and ayurvedic practitioners.
It must be stated that the deliver of hashish raw material, these days, is controlled and enabled via the excise branch of the country that the hemp-primarily based agencies function in and that they in flip source it from collection license holders. In India, to legally manufacture hemp-primarily based merchandise for industrial and scientific use (THC decrease than zero.Three%), the corporations need to apply for a allow for an allocation of uncooked cloth quantity of merchandise it needs to manufacture for that fiscal 12 months.
“As long as one is trying to perform above board and building a proper set of merchandise to be dispensed responsibly, sourcing from the excise branch isn't always at all a hassle,” shared Mohan, and said that there are not any hurdles in the manner.
Going forward, the organisation stated that it's going to maintain to invest in its research and development and launch new cannabis-primarily based merchandise into the market. “There are already a ton of formulations in ayurveda that addresses a number of the persistent sicknesses including Alzheimer, dementia, arthritis, asthma and cancer, however we are able to be doing our unbiased research to test and verify, and unleash the capacity of hashish-associated medicines in India,” concluded Mohan, “this is just the start.”