Pune has now welcomed its first cafe serving hemp-based food. Among the delectable treats on offer in its menu are bhaang sandwich, hemp smoothies and hemp biscuits.

And it is not only completely legal but also very healthy, according to its 30-year-old co-founder Amruta Shitole. Hemp, or Cannabis sativa, is known to be a powerhouse of vitamins and healthy fats, she says.

“I learned about hemp during my trip to Uttarakhand four years back. Uttarakhand became the first state in the country to legalise hemp for industrial use. During the trip, I came to know about the regular day-to-day use of hemp seeds in chutneys and ayurvedic medicines. I decided to understand more about hemp and started learning about its various uses and availability,” says Amruta, who runs the cafe with her brother Vishal in Sadashiv Peth.

Unlike cannabis, hemp contains low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in quantities less than 0.3 per cent. This prompted the Food Safety and Standards Authority of…



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