Majority of German parties agree changes needed on hemp

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Four of six German political parties generally agree that hemp should not be under the country’s drug laws, and support removing bureaucratic barriers that hurt the industry, according to a poll from the Cannabis Business Industry Association (BvCW). The four parties, from across the German political spectrum, also agree there is a need for clear laws and regulations regarding CBD and other cannabinoids.

BvCW queried all parties represented in the German Bundestag on those three issues and others affecting medical marijuana, including funding, research, narcotics laws, CBD and trade. The survey comes ahead of Germany’s general elections next Sunday, Sept. 26.

Party alignments

The three questions related to hemp received positive responses from leaders of the SPD, FDP, Die LINKE and the Green Party, all of which are positioned to be part of a governing coalition as a result of the upcoming vote, according to opinion polls.

However, that coalition could include the CDU, which took a more negative attitude toward changes affecting cannabis. CDU disagreed that hemp should be removed from Germany’s drug law, disagreed that regulatory changes are needed, and agreed only “somewhat” that rules regarding cannabinoids need to be clarified.

BvCW and other cannabis interests in Germany have argued strenuously that hemp should be removed from Germany’s Narcotics Act (BtMG). That’s especially in light of changes at the EU level last year that clarified CBD is not a narcotic and may be freely traded across the EU.

Rules desperately needed

Stakeholders have said regulations for hemp-derived food products and extracts, particularly cannabinoids such as CBD, are urgently needed to give producers security in their business planning and to set Germany’s food makers on a par with other markets around the world. Scientifically-based rules addressing allowable amounts of THC for hemp foods are also needed.

There is also wide support among Germany’s political parties for generally increasing the cultivation of cannabis, specifically medical marijuana, the BvCW survey revealed. That would let German companies compete better with medical marijuana suppliers from abroad and help to drive down prices to the consumer, drug policy officials in the Bundestag have said.

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