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Problems and prospects of hemp breeding in Poland


EU subsidies , coupled with growing demand for products containing non-drug cannabinoids, are the basis for the rapid growth of the Polish hemp industry . Without domestic cultivation of medical cannabis in Poland created the conditions in the first place for the development of business by foreign companies , specializing in the cultivation and processing plants that have significant therapeutic properties (likely pressure from various lobby Canadian companies).

For the pages of the profile electronic publication of Ukrainian hemp breeders, the information and analytical platform Hemp Consulting fairly regularly provides information that is not only informative , but also has a prognostic nature . Considering the fact that hemp map of Europe shows clear trends , according to which our colleagues from countries bordering Ukraine are not only rapidly developing , but also aggressively entering extremely promising markets in Europe , America ,Africa and Asia , as well as actively working to create and launch high-margin products for sales , the editorial staff of the resource invited Hemp Consulting specialists to provide our readers with the minimum amount of information regarding our “map neighbors”. The material described below refers to the situation in the hemp market in Poland .

In Poland, there is a centuries-old tradition of growing , processing , and also selling hemp products . Given the rapid development of the medical field of Polish hemp breeding , the country has seen a boom in business activity associated with the development of various sectors of modern hemp breeding . At the moment, the bulk of the commercial activity of hemp growers in Poland is concentrated on malonarcotic hemp , which is legal for cultivation , processing , sales and consumption . Recreational hemp is illegal, and the use of the plant for medical purposes is limited solely by imported supplies of raw materials . This feature of the country's regulatory framework leads to the dominance in the market primarily of Canadian suppliers of hemp raw materials , which have significant therapeutic properties .

Industrial hemp breeding

Activities aimed at the cultivation , production , sale and consumption of products that can be produced from raw materials in which the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not exceed 0.2% are legal. Poland is a member of the European Union and must comply with EU rules , including those related to the concept of “new food ”. Hemp seeds , as well as their derivatives ( hemp oil , flour , protein , broken seeds ) are perceived as those that were used by consumers until May 15, 1997 and therefore are not classified as “new foods ”. Other hemp products cannot be presented on the market without going through the algorithms provided for in the relevant EU procedure . 

Products obtained from cannabis-free cannabis are currently regulated by the same legal acts that control product marketing in the respective industries . If you observe the following requirements, hemp products can be sold / purchased on legal grounds from any party retailers . For example, the labeling of products that include cannabidiol must comply with the rules set forth in:

• food safety law ;

• Decree of the Minister of Health of Poland on the composition and labeling of food ;

• Decree of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland on food labeling ;

• Regulation ( EU ) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament of December 20, 2006 concerning food safety ;

• Regulation ( EU ) No 432/2012 of May 16, 2012.

The labeling of hemp seeds , as well as their derivatives, cannot indicate any therapeutic benefits of the product and the presence of drug-free cannabinoids in it .

In order to grow cannabis-free hemp , the Polish licensee must meet the following requirements :

• not have a criminal record for drug offenses ;

• sowing can be carried out exclusively in places that are known to regulatory authorities ;

• exclusively certified seeds are allowed for growing, entered in the relevant register of EU varieties ;

• seeds must be purchased exclusively from seed or breeding companies ;

• the licensee must take measures to ensure that hemp raw materials cannot be used for illegal purposes .

Industrial crops of industrial hemp Poland

Processors or sellers of hemp raw materials must enter into sales contracts with licensees . Any plans for the processing of hemp raw materials should be submitted to the relevant regional authorities . 

Technical hemp continues to be a key area for companies operating in the country's industrial hemp sector . One of the factors stimulating the interest of Polish agricultural producers in the cultivation of small drug cannabis is the availability of EU subsidies for this type of activity , which reach up to € 480 per hectare, for example, for crops receiving organic status.

New commodity items positioned in the consumer goods category are regularly launched on the Polish market . In addition to the product area , companies appear in the country that specialize in the production of products with high added value . For example, in 2019, Herbs & Hydro from Katowice launched a series of hemp cosmetics on the market . The Polish state oil company is considering establishing cooperation with the Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants in the field of hemp bioethanol production . 

Medical use of hemp

From November 1, 2017, any doctor in Poland has the right to prescribe hemp for the treatment of various diseases (there is no strict list by which medical workers have the right to prescribe hemp , which the patient subsequently uses for medical purposes ). No special licenses are required for medical personnel or patients. As soon as the product has been successfully registered in the relevant state structure , the patient can buy the prescribed prescription at any pharmacy that has received the right to sell medical hemp . In fairness, it should be noted that prescription pharmacies sell leaves and inflorescences of medical hemp , as well as pharmacological preparations made on the basis of the plant since December 2018. This is due to the fact that the imported medical cannabis used for sale in pharmacies of the country is legal in the event that it is registered at the Office of the registration of medical resources of the country and the Ministry of Health of Poland until October 2018 did not grant permission to foreign companies to export to the country of medical cannabis . 

Growing cannabis on the territory of Poland is illegal, therefore, all raw materials used in medicines are imported. Deliveries are made through licensed foreign wholesalers to registered Polish pharmacies. Of the 15 thousand registered pharmacies in Poland, approximately 90% have the right to sell medical hemp . Particularly active in the import deliveries of leaves and inflorescences of cannabis possesses therapeutic properties manifest Canadian companies that operate both directly and through its subsidiaries. 

Since the Polish government did not legalize the possibility of growing medical cannabis on its territory, the raw materials are imported by foreign producers who have undergone official approval by the government . Naturally, this circumstance created opportunities for major global suppliers of medical cannabis (primarily from Canada ), however, import supplies are very limited and lead to an exponential increase in patient expenses.

Companies applying for the import of medical cannabis into Poland should also be able to distribute their products . This led to a series of partnership arrangements, for example, between the Canadian Cronos Group Inc and the Polish distributor Delfarma.

The key players in the medical cannabis market in Poland are:

• Aurora Cannabis Inc. ( Canada );

• Spectrum Cannabis Polska (a subsidiary of Canopy Growth, Canada );

• Sequoya Cannabis Ltd (a joint Polish - Canadian company headquartered in Canada );

• HemPoland ( Polish producer and seller of organic CBD oils, in 2018 acquired by the Canadian company Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd);

• Cronos Group Inc ( Canada );

• Experion Holdings Ltd ( Canada ).

The first license to recycle was provided by the company "Pharmacann Polska " ( "Pharmacann International," at this time) in 2019, providing an opportunity for the production of drugs from imported leaf and inflorescence hemp plants .

Prior to the legislative settlement of the possibility of using hemp for medical purposes in Poland, lobbyists claimed that the number of potential patients using the therapeutic properties of the plant would reach several million people. It is estimated that by 2019 the number of patients who use hemp for medical purposes ranges from 300 thousand.

Medical cannabis prices in Poland remain extremely high since all raw materials are imported . At the moment , three drugs are approved for use in the country , which are made on the basis of the therapeutic properties of hemp : Sativex, Bediol and Bedrocan. In October 2018, Spectrum Cannabis Polska&

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