Iceland’s Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, has passed an amendment to the regulations on intoxicating and addictive substances to allow the Icelandic Medicines Agency (IMA) to import industrial hemp seed.
The regulation specifies that the seeds and plants must not contain more than 0.2% THC, and allows the import, handling, and transport of hemp seeds for industrial use under EU Directives 2002/53 and 2002/57 governing. Seed imports will be subject to examination by the Icelandic Food Agency.
Icelandic narcotics regulations previously prohibited the import and handling of any cannabis-related products, regardless of THC levels.
The new legislation follows the case of a farm in eastern Iceland which was experimenting with the cultivation of industrial hemp.
The farm in Gautavik believed that it was entitled to import seeds and grow hemp after receiving confirmation from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. The IMA had also previously ruled that hemp seeds were not covered by Icelandic drug laws.
Last November, however, the police took over the farm at the request of the IMA. Farmers were not informed in advance of the police visit, nor did the EPI ask farmers for additional information about the crops they were growing. The police took samples and tested them. After discovering that the samples did not contain any measurable levels of THC, the police dropped the case last March.