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The EU is reforming the regulatory framework in the field of hemp


Outdated and unreasonably high levels of THC in foodstuffs mean that this sector of European hemp breeding has a significant competitive disadvantage compared with producers in North America and Asia.
In connection with the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, the European Industrial Hemp Association (European Industrial Hemp Association, EIHA) is working with individual members of the European Parliament to create conditions under which the EU cannabis will have the maximum amount of competitive advantage compared to other regions of the world. The parties involved in making amendments to the current EU regulations expect that the final recommendations prepared on this subject may be ready by the end of January.
Amendments to the existing regulations were submitted to the relevant EU structures in early December. The members of the European Parliament are currently discussing the documents submitted for consideration to reach compromises and the preparation of the finalized proposals to the relevant commission of the European Parliament (a meeting on this issue is expected at the end of March). Voting on the agreed changes to the existing regulatory framework is planned for the April session of the European Parliament, even before the relevant documents are sent to the Consilium (Council of the European Union).
In spite of the change in the leadership of EIHA, the European association of cannabis growers actively participates in the above processes, lobbying the interests of the industry through individual members of the European Parliament. For example, one of the zealous supporters of improving the EU regulatory framework governing modern hemp breeding is Irish MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan.
The work on the improvement of the EU hemp policy currently covers the following key aspects:
- an increase in the permissible level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for technical hemp varieties grown in the EU from 0.2 to 0.3%;
- formation of clear criteria for the admissibility of levels of THC in food products;
- regulation of the processes of crossing and gene modification of hemp varieties.
Increasing the maximum permissible level of TGCs to 0.3% will return the EU to the limit, which was valid until 1999. According to European cannabis, the current maximum permissible level of THC of 0.2% limits the choice of varieties of low-narcotic hemp, which can be legally cultivated by European agricultural producers. According to market experts, raising the level of TGCs to 0.3% can significantly increase the list of cannabisa varieties that EU farmers can legally grow in the interests of the rapidly growing all-European hemp market.
According to experts involved in the development of an improved regulatory framework, outdated and unreasonably high levels of THC in food means that this sector of European hemp breeding has a significant competitive disadvantage compared to producers in North America and Asia.
The technical hemp varieties currently used by EU agricultural producers are mostly the result of cross-breeding processes over a long period of time, which undermine the genetic heritage and continuity of seed, which leads to a gradual degeneration and the emergence of unstable hemp hybrids.
Commentary of the «Ukrainian Industrial Hemp Association»
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU is a system of agricultural subsidies and actions within the framework of various agricultural support programs of the European Union member countries. About 46.7% of the total EU budget is spent on it. The program, introduced in 1962, has been constantly reformed and currently covers rural development. Hemp is among the crops that are eligible for CAP funds.
Luke "Ming" Flanagan is known as a social activist who has long sought to legalize the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Well-known Irish public figure, who is elected at the local, national and European levels. In 2000, as part of an election campaign, the Irish Parliament sent each of the 200 deputies in a jamb. In 2011, as a deputy, he came to the Irish National Parliament in a hemp suit. In 2013, he submitted to Parliament a bill on the need for cannabis legalization.
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