The European Parliament voted in favor of increasing the authorized THC level for industrial hemp from 0.2% to 0.3%. The proposal notably defended by the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and was included in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) adopted by the Parliament on Friday, October 23rd.
Lorenza Romanese, Director General of the EIHA, announced the news on her Linkedin profile.
This is a historic moment for our industry, for our farmers, for a green future, and all Europeans,” said EIHA President Daniel Kruse. “Finally, the EU is once again on a level playing field with the global industrial hemp sector.
The proposal, adopted by the Parliament, will then be discussed with the European Council and the European Commission in tripartite negotiations that are part of the process of adopting acts in the European Union.
The Parliament also voted to include hemp in the list of agricultural products eligible for regulation through marketing standards. These rules aim to ensure product quality and to improve the economic conditions for the production and marketing of agriculture products. They concern such elements as technical definitions, labeling, packaging, substances, and methods used in production or the type and place of cultivation.
What are the differences between 0.2% and 0.3%?
Since 1999, the THC rate in hemp, which legally distinguishes “hemp” from “cannabis,” set at 0.2%. It was previously 0.3%, officially lowered to limit the possibility of cannabis cultivation in hemp fields.
Today, Europe’s main competitors for hemp, China, and the United States, are both at 0.3%, a rate that gives access to a greater variety of hemp species and gives a competitive advantage for the production of seeds, fibers, and CBD.
The 0.2% THC barrier has indeed proven to be a barrier for European CBD producers, with CBD increasing proportionally with THC. This limit also prevents the use of certain varieties of hemp with high seed yields, which exceed 0.2% THC.