The Polish Ministry of Agriculture has recommended increasing the authorized THC content in industrial hemp plants to 1%, among other measures in the context of a recently unveiled 2-year government agricultural plan.

The Ministry of Agriculture has thus reacted to the agricultural demands of hemp growers, who last February signaled the need to change the law. The changes also concern the reduction of administrative burdens related to the monitoring of the cultivation and purchase of hemp, the definition of hemp fiber as well as the penalization of producers growing hemp varieties authorized for cultivation in the country.

Polish agriculture and the Polish economy have the opportunity to take advantage of the economic situation. The opportunity of this situation is the launch of national support programs for the industrial hemp sector in cooperation with the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education,” said Jan Białkowski, Under Secretary of State for Agriculture.

While increasing the THC limit to 1% could strengthen Poland’s position in the CBD sector, the government’s plan also highlights the country’s fiber potential. The ministry noted that the current restrictive THC levels partly inhibit hemp farming in Poland by discouraging the planting of Polish hemp varieties (Białobrzeskie and Fenola), many of which have high fiber potential but also carry traces of THC above 0.2% or 0.3%.

However, hemp varieties with 1% THC would not be eligible for agricultural subsidies from the European Union, which only guarantees its aid for hemp with 0.2% THC.

Hemp production in Poland has gradually increased over the last five years, from 3000 hectares last year to around 1300 hectares in 2018.

The international limit for THC in hemp is set at 0.3%, although there are possibilities to derogate from it. Europe has set this limit at 0.2% as part of its agricultural funding, followed by the vast majority of countries. Italy has nevertheless set the limit at 0.6% THC, and Switzerland, a non-EU member, at 1%, as has Lebanon and Thailand.

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