Bombay Hemp Company or popularly known as Boheco has raised funding from Ratan Tata and Google India managing director Rajan Anandan.
The Mumbai-based company, along with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), grows cannabis and study its medicinal properties for use in the treatment of epilepsy and breast cancer, as well as for palliative care.
The company will put the funding in use to hire scientists in India as well as globally from countries such as the Netherlands and business development executives.
Launched in January 2013, Bombay Hemp Company is also using the industrial (non-drug) hemp to manufacture a range of products, from clothes to foodstuff and building material.
Hemp can be used to make nearly 25,000 products including textiles, oil, milk, paper, biodegradable plastics, tofu, flour, protein powder, bio-fuel and construction material.
The company collects hemp fibre from growers in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Recently, the company has created nano carbon, a form of renewable energy from the hemp fibre, which it considers as another milestone. The new discovery led the company to become the only Asian startups to be invited to join the Singularity University Accelerator in California.
In the past few years, there has been a whole change in attitude towards marijuana use by various countries. Australia, Canada, FRance, Netherlands, U.S. and many other countries are exploring the use of medicinal use and other scientific purpose of cannabis.
Globally, the cannabis market is expected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, with the US currently driving 90% of the sales, according to a recent report from cannabis market research firm, the Brightfield Group.
In 2016, cannabis-related startups raised $66.3 million in venture capital funding, mostly in the United States.
In recent years, China has also increased its focus on hemp cultivation, with the China Hemp Research Centre being set up in Beijing.