BULGARIAN firm CBD Seed Europe has secured a place on the European seed register for two of its genetics which it says deliver record levels of cannabidiol.
Whilst most registered CBD seeds on the European Common Catalogue deliver CBD contents of 5% to 6% its newly-registered varieties can reach up to 12% in the field.
The two new registered varieties are know as ‘Midwest’ and ‘Northwest’ will be viable at most latitudes across the continent, says the company.
And, with the EC limits for THC content in hemp seeds set to rise from 0.2% to 0.3% it says it will be able to develop new strains that will raise the CBD level ‘even higher’
“We are delighted that after after two years of trials and research – and over €500,000 of investment – we have reached the stage where our two high-CBD seed varieties have been approved for sale in the European Union.
“We believe this opens up a number of unique business opportunities including the exploration of joint ventures with other breeders in order to create new strains specifically designed for the European market.“
CBD Seeds Europe worked closely with the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) to bring forward its new strains.
EIHA Managing Director Lorenza Romanese said: “We are certainly happy that finally EU breeders are able to provide to EU farmer’s varieties which are adapted to our climate and richer in CBD – this is what the market has been asking for.”
CBD Seed Europe was founded by Canadian cannabis entrepreneur Mr Folcarelli and his Bulgarian business partner Ivailo Staninski, with the business being run by Simeon Genov.
In 2021 it says its recorded revenues of €500,000 and is projecting future annual sales of €4m as a result of this new development.
Huge Growth Potential
Mr Folcarelli says he was attracted to the European cannabis and CBD market by its growth potential and, after running into numerous bureaucratic challenges in Southern Europe, the company settled on Bulgaria.
After two years of testing under the auspices of the Bulgarian Seed Agency, as specified by EU guidelines, its two new genetics officially debuted on the on the European Catalogue last month.
With Bulgaria now the company’s home – it was instrumental in founding the Bulgarian Industrial Hemp Association – it has plans to build the world’s first EU-GMP seed and genetics research facility over the next 12 months.
“It is my vision that we can create a fully-functional and vertically-integrated supply chain from genetics all the way to consumer products – so that every product is traceable right back to the seeds that started the process.
“This will allow us to create new and better hybrids to rival and surpass those being created in other parts of the world,” he said.
The company is keen on working with European partners to support the industry’s growth.
He added: “Along with seed registration we have also worked the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, alongside EIHA, to help them develop regulations and legislation so that farmers and processors can go about their work legally and securely.
“Along with our partners and collaborators we are also working with government agencies in Greece, Italy and Spain to have better regulation and transparency at all levels of the supply chain to ensure to the final consumer that they are getting safe and effective products.”
With much imported US biomass delivering CBD content at up to 15% this latest development will boost the competitiveness of the European industry.
Although Mr Folcarelli contends that some North American biomass does not adhere to the ‘required EU-GMP standards and should not be allowed in food supplements’.
The global hemp seed market was valued at US$830m in 2021 and is expected to reach US$1,550m by 2027