THE German Cannabis Industry Association (BvCW) has described as ‘incomprehensible’ a raid by over 25 police officers on a farm that led to the confiscation of hemp products and the impounding of almost four hectares of crop.
This comes despite recent rulings in the German courts that acknowledge the legality of the country’s long-established hemp industry – and as the country’s measured progress towards a regulated adult-use market continues.
The police raid took place in the Schleswig-Holstein region on September 1, after the Itzehoe District Court ordered the confiscation of all industrial hemp goods from a farm belonging to the Thomassek family.
The pretext for the raid being that ‘hemp tea that is sometimes produced after the harvest is suitable for producing an intoxicating pastry and could violate the Narcotics Act’, says the BvCW in a press release.
‘All Farms Would Be Affected‘
However, the cultivation of industrial hemp has been legal in Germany since 1996, and a recent Government commission acknowledged the legality of industrial hemp products, as reported last year by BusinessCann.
Dr Stefan Meyer, President of the BvCW, said: “In the current case, the livelihood of a farm is endangered, the cultivation of which has been officially approved and the harvest has even already been released.
“If the Itzehoe public prosecutor’s office were to prevail with their new legal opinion, the existence of the majority of the 863 farms in the hemp sector and numerous processing companies and thus thousands of jobs nationwide would be threatened.
“It is absolutely incomprehensible why the public prosecutor’s office and the district court of Itzehoe are now, 26 years after the legalisation of hemp cultivation in Germany, starting with such measures, although there have been no legal changes.
“As we debate the future of recreational cannabis cultivation, attempts are being made elsewhere to turn back the wheel of progress.”
Tilray Talks Tactics
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the German Drug Commissioner, Burkhard Blienert – charged with drafting Germany’s new regulated adult-use market laws – has held talks with Canadian cannabis producer Tilray.
Denise Faltischek, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of International, Tilray Brands, said: “As a leading global cannabis company, Tilray Brands has unmatched experience partnering with governments and regulators to help develop responsible cannabis regulations that protect the health and safety of patients and consumers, as well as supporting significant economic growth in countries in which it operates.
“We applaud the German government in leading responsible adult-use cannabis legislation in Europe and we are proud to support this effort.”
As well as Mr Blienert, attendees included FDP Drug Policy Spokesperson Kristine Lütke; Carlos Kasper, SPD, Finance Committee member; and Martina Stamm-Fibich, SPD, Committee on Health member.
In the neighbouring Czech Republic, the country’s National Drug Coordinator Jindřich Vobořil last week convened a meeting of the country’s leading lawmakers, doctors, addiction experts and senior police officers in order to start a discussion on how to end the war on cannabis in the Czech Republic and create a fair, regulated market.
This was followed – yesterday and today – by a similar pan-European event, also in Prague, which is calling for drug reform across the continent, reports cannabis magazine publisher Lukas Hurst on his LinkedIn page.
New European Union regulations on the permitted level of THC in hemp seeds officially came into force on September 1.
CBD Test Results
As reported in BusinessCann last year, the permitted amount of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol has risen significantly and could prompt increased activity in the sector, says the European Industrial Hemp Association.
In Estonia, the Ministry of Social Affairs has drafted new legislation to allow hemp with higher THC limits to be cultivated in the country.
Estonian regulators are planning to allow hemp farmers to grow crops with a THC level higher than the current 0.2%. By 2023, that limit will be at least 0.3%, bringing the country in line with the rest of the European Union. About 6,800 hectares are currently under hemp cultivation in Estonia.
On September 7, Canadian firm RAMM Pharma announced it had acquired HemPoland from The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings for C$1.2m (£800,000). HemPoland is a manufacturer and marketer of hemp products and follows RAMM’s purchase of Italian firm Canapar in 2021.
Tests on more than 60 CBD products on sale in the UK found the majority contained illegal substances.
Kent Scientific Services (KSS), a laboratory run by Kent County Council, undertook the tests on behalf of several local authorities.
It found 44 out of 61 samples (72%) contained one or more of the psychoactive elements of cannabis. Several samples contained ‘significantly less’ CBD than claimed on the pack.
A study of almost 2,000 French adults found that 69.2% had heard of CBD and 10.1% used it, with less than half (46.8%) of the former considering it harmful. The report authors – BMC Public Health – have called for clearer pan-European legislation around CBD.