Jammu, Feb 22: Jammu and Kashmir will be the first in the country to develop medicines from the cannabis plant, said Union minister Jitendra Singh describing it as s a “historic” achievement. The CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu, signed a major agreement on cannabis research with IndusScan, a Canadian company, here on Saturday in the presence of the Union minister and R R Bhatnagar, adviser to Lt Governor G C Murmu. “This is the first-of-its-kind project in India and a historic moment for Jammu and Kashmir. Till now, we only have the misuse and abuse of this ancient plant having lot of medicinal values and with the signing of this agreement, we are reintroducing this ancient product with all good properties,” Singh said addressing the gathering after the signing of the agreement. The Minister of State in the Prime Minister”s Office shared the efforts made by the IIIM Director Ram Vishwakarma over the past two years to get a nod from the government for the project. He said when a patent developed from this, it would be a major source of revenue for the UT and India as a whole. “Incidentally, it is happening at a time when the UT government is trying hard to attract investors from outside,” he said. “Other investors are yet to come but one of the first major foreign investment is happening in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said. He said the IIIM had remained under-utilised. “I am sure today, it will mark the beginning of a new journey when it will get the deserved recognition and glory. The new dawn is unfolding for Jammu and Kashmir,” the minister said referring to scrapping of J-K”s special status. He also referred to the upcoming bio-technology park in Kathua, saying it will be completed in the next six months. Vishwakarma said the cannabis had been associated with the Indian culture and medicine since centuries but due to its misuse as psycho-active substance, it was banned worldwide in 1980s onwards and put under narcotic list. “The current scientific collaboration between the CSIR-IIIM and IndusScan on cannabis research will totally transform the uses and application of cannabis,” he said.