Efforts to boost THC in EU hemp could bring results by 2021

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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.

Rules could take effect in 2021

The changes still need to be approved by the EU Parliament and EU Council, but if all goes well, the change could be in force beginning January 2021.

“It represents a major step forward for the sector. EIHA worked hard to assure the positive vote,” EIHA’s Managing Director Lorenza Romanese told HempToday.

Varieties restricted

In January, Romanese told HempToday that current restraints on THC levels “restrict the choice of varieties for European farmers.” Currently around 60 varieties are available but she believes an increase in THC levels could see that list grow substantially.

While there are still more hurdles to go in the quest to raise the THC limit for Europe, Romanese is somewhat confident “because now EIHA knows that we have MEPs on whom we can count.”

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