New regulations come after hard negotiations
The increase in authorized THC percentage levels have been increased from 0,2% to 0,3% after the European Council adopted a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 2 December 2021. This follows a European Parliament vote on 24 November 2021 in favour of this after a year of difficult negotiations..
The new CAP, that will enter into force on January 1st, 2023, recognises the possibility for farmers to receive Direct Payments for hemp varieties registered in the EU Catalogue that have a maximum level of THC of 0,3 %.
This change entails a potential enlargement of the number of hemp varieties accepted under the EU Catalogue. As a reminder, this level only applies if farmers want to receive direct payments, meaning that in Europe it is possible to plant hemp with THC level on the field over 0,3 %, provided it is authorised by national regulations (e.g., 0,6 % in Italy; 1 % in Czech Republic).
‘Great day for European hemp sector’
“I have been fighting for this moment for over a decade. My special thanks go to our amazing team in Brussels, who have made this possible.” Says Daniel Kruse, pioneer of the hemp industry and President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA).
“This is a great day for the hemp sector and another step towards a greener future for Europe. However, if compared to other countries worldwide, 0, 3 % is still a low limit; for instance, Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, has a higher number, and other EU countries already work with higher limits as well.
“Scientific studies and many years of experience prove that higher limits pose absolutely no safety risk for consumers. The EU lays the foundation for a growing, green and sustainable industrial hemp sector across our Union and it has the chance to achieve a level playing field again in global competition when it comes to the industrial hemp sector.”
“I am proud of what has been achieved today. We worked hard to ensure that hemp had the recognition it deserves in the Common Agricultural Policy. I would say that this small step reflects that EU legislators are closer to fully acknowledging and recognising the existence of a legitimate European hemp sector.” Says Lorenza Romanese, EIHA Managing Director.
“However, as I have said other times, this is not it. We need to keep working together, as there arestill other areas where hemp deserves to be better regulated, but we are on the right track.”