It started from a random question I asked my Chinese friend.
–“Do people in China get high on marijuana?” The 35-year-old man starred at me, weird out. “No. For my first 18 years of life, which was in China, I had never seen this plant, not knew anyone who possessed, or used any. Marijuana almost never got any attention of the news media.” Suddenly something rang a bell. “I think recently Jacky Chen’s son was arrested and imprisoned because of marijuana. I was a huge deal, and it was all over the news media.”
“Maybe things have changed in the recent year?” I asked. “Or maybe they have a black market in China now?”
So we looked it up.
China is the largest industrial marijuana producer.
About 50% of the total industrial marijuana cultivated area in the world belongs to China. According to ifen.com, The recorded yield of Marijuana in China in 2014 is about 44,000 tons. Cultivation in certain provinces has been legalized for over 15 years. One of these provinces – Yun Nan, is the home of several major tourism destinations. The locals do not use this plant other than industrial purpose –but it is a heaven for certain western tourists – one can easily spot marijuana fields by the side of the road, just like the corn field in the United States. The majority of the stings contain less than 3% THC to prevent “misuse”. But it does not seem to be stopping the western tourists from smoking it.
Images from http://www.yunhemp.com, they are one of the marijuana cultivators in Yun Nan, China.
Article regarding industrial marijuana cultivation in China, if you can read Chinese: http://news.ifeng.com/shendu/nfzm/detail_2014_03/20/34978173_0.shtml