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Because China // s02 e06

What China’s relationship to cannabis reveals about its economy

Member exclusive by Nikhil Sonnad in Yunnan, China

This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world.

Cannabis is fast becoming the world’s newest cash crop. In southwest China’s Yunnan province, farmers make more money growing and selling the plant than they can from more common crops like corn or wheat. And they’re growing more of it than ever.

But growing weed in China is not as simple as planting seeds in the ground. Many places in the world are becoming more tolerant of the drug, and in some US states and Canada, recreational use is now legal. That is far from the case in China, where drugs are heavily stigmatized, and trafficking marijuana can lead to a death sentence.

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