United States: Spanish Hemp Industry Faces Risks
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A recent article in La Voz de
Almería highlighted the risks faced by hemp growers in
Spain, who may misunderstand legal parameters. Fittingly titled „Why the new craze for industrial hemp could land you in
jail,” the article neatly summarizes the key requirements for
legally growing industrial hemp.
First, the seeds used must be authorized for marketing in the
European Union (EU). This means they must be included in the
EU’s Common catalogue of varieties of
agricultural plant species.
Second, plants' THC content must not exceed 0.2%.
Third, hemp cultivation is limited to fiber and seed. This in
particular is a source of confusion for growers, some of whom
mistakenly think that all parts of the plant are fair game as long
as they do not exceed the 0.2% THC threshold. However, as the
Almería Civil Guard has stated, „the moment they touch
the bud they will be committing a crime against public health
regardless of the THC content.”
According to the article, law enforcement raids on industrial
hemp operations in Almería have landed at least one grower
in jail. Statements by the local prosecutor suggest that the real
driver behind the police actions is the „notable increase in
cannabis sativa plantations in greenhouses under the guise of an
alleged industrial crop.” This clandestine activity has in
turn led to violent-sometimes deadly-robberies at grows.
These risks impact not only growers, but others in the industry.
In accordance with the existing legal framework, the extraction of
hemp CBD is only permitted from seeds. Moreover, only hemp seeds
and their derivatives are permitted in foods.
Particularly in areas with strong agricultural traditions like
Almería, the hemp „craze” might present alluring
prospects for growers and others. However, those opportunities come
with serious risks for those who misunderstand-or choose to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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