History of CBD and Cannabis: Mongolia
Sandwiched between Russia and China, Mongolia is a strategically important area for almost all cannabis cultivation and trafficking schemes in East Asia.
With a moderate climate for the majority of the year, researchers believe that many of the world’s original cannabis strains first appeared in the mountainous areas of the country. The centrally located country features porous borders where domestically produced cannabis easily flows in and outwards to Central Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa.
Cannabis, CBD, and Mongolia
Currently, cannabis is illegal for recreational, industrial, and medical use in Mongolia. Despite the government’s frequent punishment of trafficking and possession crimes, cannabis grows wildly in almost every region of the country. It’s not uncommon for residents to publicly consume cannabis in restaurants, cafes, and parks.
Thousands of years ago, cannabis’ medicinal and psychoactive properties were discovered by Scythian tribes that inhabited the area. The nomadic tribes traveled from Mongolia westward to other Central Asian nations, such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
For centuries, Chinese rulers attempted to take control of Mongolia. However, their attempts frequently failed due to the complex, skilled nature of local militia groups. Additionally, Mongolia made ties with its Russian neighbor in the mid twentieth century to fend off invasion attempts from East Asian countries like Japan.
Marijuana consumption was made formally illegal during the rule of soviet-inspired Mongolian leaders in the 1920s.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the nineties, the Mongolian economy nearly collapsed several times. Extremely high inflation and political instability of the central government threatened most residents’ way of life.
In order to survive, many turned to cannabis cultivation and trafficking. Globally, marijuana prices increased during the twentieth century as it became illegal throughout the entire world. This motivated residents to turn to the cannabis industry as crop prices surged over the decades.
Even today, local law enforcers still have trouble effectively rooting out cannabis cultivation and distribution organizations. Many growers operate in hard to patrol, mountainous areas along rural outskirts before marketing their products to urban buyers. Essentially all marijuana in Mongolia is locally sourced while the rest is shipped off to other Central Asian nations.
Ancient trade routes set up during the fifteenth century are still in use to this very day. In Outer Mongolia, merchants along the Tea Road, which has stops every 25 to 30 kilometers, help to export new strains of marijuana across the border.
Although conditions have improved substantially in the past twenty years, many families are still entrenched in the cannabis market. It’s unlikely that Mongolian officials will implement substantive cannabis policy reform any time soon.