Cannabis and hemp are obviously intertwined in reality and politically. Cannabis and hemp are the same plant, but politically and regulatorily, hemp has been classified as basically low-THC cannabis, with allowable THC percentages varying depending upon jurisdictions. In Switzerland, where the International Cannabis Business Conference will be holding its next event in conjunction with the global hemp fair CannaTrade, low-THC cannabis can contain up to 1% THC and be legally sold. European hemp industry participants had hoped to get the European Union hemp THC percentage up to that 1%, but that is going to take a bit more time. In good news, progress is being made, albeit too slowly as allowable THC percentages are expected to increase within the EU in 2021, as Hemp Today reported:
The European Union could soon change the allowed legal THC level in approved hemp varieties from 0.2% to 0.3% after the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development recently approved a batch of proposals for post-2020 reforms to the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
CAP implements a system of agricultural subsidies and other programs supporting member nations. Introduced in 1962, the program has undergone constant reform and now also embraces rural development.
Increasing allowable THC levels in hemp varieties grown in the EU from 0.2% to 0.3% would return the EU to the limit that was valid up until 1999. While some had called for an increase to a full 1% THC, perhaps a smaller incremental increase was always more likely to be favored.
The pace of much-needed regulatory changes is often maddening, particularly to people with a long history advocating for cannabis and hemp legalization. It can be extremely frustrating to see people knowledgeable on the cannabis plant placed in charge of enforcement policies and combatting debunked Reefer Madness propaganda. Patience and persistence will remain a virtue in the cannabis and hemp industries as the times are a-changin’ and we can expect more and more positive reforms, until the industries are really booming over the next 5-10 years across Europe, North America, and much of the world.
If you want to learn the latest about the hemp and cannabis industries while networking with top investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates from across the globe, the ICBC in Zurich this May 15th-16th is the place to be. After ICBC Zurich, stick around for CannaTrade, Switzerland’s premier hemp expo. Secure your early-bird ICBC Zurich tickets by April 24th to save $$$!