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Новости/Аналитика

Will Poland become a leader in European cannabis production?

10.07.2020

Lining of the doslіdzhennya "Development of the market of industrial viroshuvannya and processing of hemp in Poland"

The questions raised by Polish experts before the government officials of the country are extremely relevant for the national cannabis industry. The lack of new national legislation governing the functioning of modern cannabis growing in Ukraine, the lack of a regulatory framework that provides opportunities for the use of leaves and inflorescences of hemp, the content of which is less than 0.08% THC, the dominance of the market by imported products of dubious quality and underdevelopment on these issues of Ukrainian legislation lead to the fact that national cannabis growing ceases to be competitive in the global cannabis market.

On the pages of a specialized electronic publication of Ukrainian cannabis growers, a study was recently described demonstrating the export potential of the hemp industry in Uruguay, prepared by specialists from the Agency for Investment, Export and Brand Promotion of the above country. The analysis of the documents prepared by Uruguayan officials, as well as similar documents, is being carried out by the specialists of the information and analytical platform Hemp Consulting, who prompted our editorial office about the existence of documents prepared by our colleagues from Poland, which clearly formulate the problems of our western neighbor, which are extremely relevant for Ukrainian cannabis growing. Without going into details of the materials prepared by Polish experts, we will briefly provide our esteemed readers and listeners with information about the problems of Polish cannabis growing, raised by Polish cannabis growers to the level of government officials.

According to a private consulting company that has prepared analytical materials in the interests of Polish government structures, the country's enterprises can become one of the main manufacturers of hemp products in Europe, but this requires changes to the current regulatory framework of the country. As stated in the materials of the prepared report "Development of the market for industrial cultivation and processing of hemp in Poland", if in the coming years the by-laws and departmental instructions are not changed, the import of finished products from other EU countries will replace internal processing.

Preamble

Industrial hemp is one of the most versatile plants grown in Poland. The raw materials obtained from the plant - inflorescences, seeds, root and stems, can be used in various branches of modern production: in the food, cosmetic, textile, automotive and paper industries and even in construction. Cannabis can be grown on almost any land, without the use of fertilizers, regardless of climatic conditions.

Reasons why Poland can become a leader in the European cannabis market

There is a historical predisposition to the cultivation and processing of hemp plants in the country, one of the most important research centers in Europe dealing with technical hemp (Poznan Institute of Natural Fibers and Herbal Plants) is located in Poland, finished hemp products produced in Poland are already recognized in economically developed countries EU, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

Analysis of the existing market

Despite the fact that the area of ​​industrial cultivation of industrial hemp is constantly growing (in 2019 it exceeded 3,000 hectares - 78% more than in 2019), Poland still remains a net importer of almost all hemp raw materials obtained from the plant from Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Canada, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Polish processors mainly specialize in the production of cannabidiol, food products, biologically active and food additives, cosmetics. There are practically no other branches of hemp processing in Poland. Textiles, ecological building materials are produced by separate micro-companies. The exceptions to this rule are mainly the paper and automotive industries, which use hemp to make paper and biocomposites.

Industry problems

One of the main problems of the industry is the lack of clearly formulated norms of the current legislation on the permissible limit of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in hemp products. The Law "On Counteracting Drug Addiction" allows the cultivation of industrial crops of industrial hemp, in the dried straw of which the THC content does not exceed 0.2%. However, Polish regulations do not indicate how this legal norm works after the plant is cut and leaves and inflorescences are separated from it. For example, in commercial grain, in the case of analyzes, batches are quite regularly found in which the amount of THC exceeds 0.2%. This means that the owner of the hemp seed crop can be prosecuted. In addition, there are no rules regarding the acceptable THC content in products derived from industrial hemp processing. That is why, according to the authors of the report, the legislator should clearly indicate under what circumstances (and products) the limitation of 0.2% of the amount of THC specified in the law "On Counteracting Drug Addiction" should be taken into account. The current legal status imposes a huge risk on industrial hemp growers, reducing investment and holding back the entire industry.

According to Polish experts, the state administration should support activities aimed at excluding products containing non-drug cannabinoids from the EU rules related to the category of “new food products”. Avoiding products falling into this category will avoid a lengthy and expensive registration procedure.

In addition, market experts insist on the need to transfer all provisions concerning the cultivation, processing and sale of low-drug cannabis into one or two legal acts and appoint one, maximum two ministries responsible for overseeing the industry. One of the problems of the industrial hemp market in Poland is the huge range of regulations governing the work of enterprises in this area of ​​management. At the moment, control over the activities of Polish cannabis growers is carried out by representatives of the Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, Justice, Agriculture, Regional Development, regional officials at various levels, and most of their functions are repeatedly duplicated. The document emphasizes that streamlining the legal environment that ensures the functioning of industrial cannabis farming, along with the improvement of certain regulations, will give an impetus to the development of the most highly profitable industry, in particular industrial processing for consumption. Reducing legal uncertainty will allow companies in the industry to make long-term planning and increase the profitability of investments in new technologies for growing and processing technical hemp, as a result of which the industry will become professionalized. 

Perspectives

If the changes necessary for the development of the industry are made, micro-companies that can ensure high quality will begin to grow and increase employment, and large companies will become pioneers of new technological solutions. Putting in order the rules for processing cannabis will greatly help the development of those enterprises that are under the most stringent control, since they are not directly related to the receipt of drug-free cannabinoids. The popularity of industrial hemp products among consumers can help increase acreage and therefore increase the supply of trusts needed in the automotive, pulp, textile and construction industries. This will enable the development of more sustainable processing using the hemp plant, which, even after changing consumer preferences, should ensure that the entire industry remains profitable. 

Polish market experts emphasize that the implementation of the so-called “Scenario of Orderly Development” will be extremely beneficial for the state budget, since the growth of the industry and its professionalization will increase tax revenues, especially from indirect taxes.

Commentary of experts of the Association "Ukrainian technical hemp"

The questions raised by Polish experts before government officials of the country are extremely relevant for the national cannabis industry. The lack of new national legislation governing the functioning of modern cannabis growing in Ukraine, the lack of a regulatory framework that provides opportunities for the use of leaves and inflorescences of hemp, the content of which is less than 0.08% THC, the dominance of the market by imported products of dubious quality and underdevelopment on these issues of Ukrainian legislation lead to the fact that national cannabis growing ceases to be competitive in the global cannabis market. And if the experts of the government structures of Uruguay prepare analytical materials that become targeting for government officials, Polish experts inform the officials of their country about the need to amend the current legislation, then government officials of our country are not only not interested in providing the industry with an effective regulatory and legal framework, but also regularly demonstrate their unwillingness to fulfill their functional duties. First of all, this concerns the employees of the National Police, who, by their actions, significantly restrain the development of modern cannabis growing in Ukraine by issuing departmental regulations that directly contradict the current legislation, as well as the Ministry of Health, which have been delaying the adoption of applications initiated by the profile association of Ukrainian cannabis growers throughout 2020. in PKMU 589 - 2009, removing archaic norms prohibiting working with the stem of industrial hemp (novels that actually block the possibility of building factories for processing hemp plants and producing significant volumes of products with high added value).

Обучение в рамках "Конопляного Университета"
15.09.2020

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