Spanish hemp tech project begins with basics: Calling the cops

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A hemp technology initiative in western Spain has started by calling the police, as it looks to set the stage for development of the industry in the Extremadura region.

Approximately a hundred representatives of various Spanish police agencies responded, attending sessions about the hemp industry organized by the National Agrifood Technological Center (CTAEX) earlier this week intended to “combine criteria in situations of uncertainty” – in other words, to educate the cops.

CTAEX is addressing a fundamental problem prevalent throughout Europe: Many law enforcement agencies still don’t understand the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana, often leading to raids and illegal arrests.

Addressing EU goals

“Hemp offers a very important, legal opportunity for Extremadura,” said Yolanda García Seco, a government delegate in the region. “This is a challenge that will be a reality in the coming years.”

Started just last year, the industrial hemp project, “Hemp Technology Pole,” is one of six key initiatives CTAEX said meet the goals of the European agri-food sector’s Field-to-Table Strategy – a key element of the broader European Green Deal.

Aimed at developing an industrial hemp innovation hub, the project will promote development and comprehensive use of the hemp plant, and provide agri-enterprises access to cultivation and processing technologies, according to CTAEX and hemp company Bhalutek Hemp, a partner.

‘Important possibility’

“There is a very important possibility of development of this crop and more so for this country, since Spain has conditions that make it ideal for special possibilities due to our soil and climate characteristics,” García Seco said.

“Hemp Technology Pole” will work to foster new public and private ventures, share knowhow among members and promote research while providing training and education for scientists, technicians and farmers – along with the police, according to CTAEX.

Based in Badajoz, Spain, CTAEX is a private not-for-profit R&D center supported by the agri-food sector; it has expertise in the development of R&D projects at the national level in Spain.

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