THC level restored to 0.3% in the EU

Today, The Council adopted the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the maximum THC level is restored to 0.3 %.

The final proposal of the CAP was adopted following the final vote at the European Parliament on November 24. In October 2020 the European Parliament voted in favor of restoring the authorized THC level on the field from 0.2 % to 0.3 %. The new CAP will enter into force on January 1st, 2023.

In the adopted document, it is said: “As regards the areas used for the production of hemp, in order to preserve public health and to ensure coherence with other bodies of legislation, the use of hemp seed varieties with tetrahydrocannabinol content below 0.3 % should be included within the definition of eligible hectare.”

The new CAP recognizes the possibility for farmers to receive Direct Payments for hemp varieties registered in the EU Catalogue that have a maximum level of THC of 0.3 %. This change entails a potential enlargement of the number of hemp varieties accepted under the EU Catalogue. As a reminder, this level only applies if farmers want to receive direct payments, meaning that in Europe it is possible to plant hemp with a THC level on the field over 0.3 %, provided it is authorized by national regulations (e.g., 0.6 % in Italy; 1% in the Czech Republic).

A great day for the hemp sector

“I have been fighting for this moment for over a decade. My special thanks go to our amazing team in Brussels, who have made this possible,” says Daniel Kruse, pioneer of the hemp industry and President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA).

“This is a great day for the hemp sector and another step towards a greener future for Europe. However, if compared to other countries worldwide, 0.3 % is still a low limit; for instance, Switzerland, in the
heart of Europe, has a higher number, and other EU countries already work with higher limits as well. Scientific studies and many years of experience prove that higher limits pose absolutely no safety risk for consumers. The EU lays the foundation for a growing, green and sustainable industrial hemp sector across our Union and it has the chance to achieve a level playing field again in global competition when it comes to the industrial hemp sector.”

“I am proud of what has been achieved today. We worked hard to ensure that hemp had the recognition it deserves in the Common Agricultural Policy. I would say that this small step reflects that EU legislators are closer to fully acknowledging and recognizing the existence of a legitimate European hemp sector,” says Lorenza Romanese, EIHA Managing Director.

“However, as I have said other times, this is not it. We need to keep working together, as there are still other areas where hemp deserves to be better regulated, but we are on the right track.”

Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.