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BvCW releases Guide on Conduct During Raids

Continuation of the “Intoxication Clause” necessitates “emergency measure” for non-intoxicating industrial hemp (non-psychoactive hemp)

Berlin01/26/2024 | The German Cannabis Business Association (BvCW) has released an information guide to help hemp farmers, business owners, industrial hemp processors, and retail businesses prepare for anticipated raids. This free guide provides stakeholders with insights on what actions to take or avoid. The background is the so-called “intoxication clause¹, which is expected to be reintroduced in the new Cannabis Act (CanG).

Almost all policymakers in the Bundestag from the government and opposition support its removal. This unique legal construct in Europe is an unnecessary competitive disadvantage for German manufacturers and processors. The BvCW’s goal remains the removal of the “intoxication clause” from the upcoming Cannabis Act (“CanG”). To avoid jeopardizing the necessary decision-making process for the CanG, it could also be addressed in an urgently adopted Industrial Hemp Act, although this might be too late for some businesses. The BvCW hopes that the CanG will finally be passed in February.

Jürgen Neumeyer, Managing Director of the BvCW, comments: “Even though, to date, not a single case of actual misuse of industrial hemp for intoxication purposes is known, as confirmed by all state criminal investigation offices, state ministries of the interior, the Federal Criminal Police Office, and the Federal Ministry of the Interior upon inquiry, numerous legal proceedings are conducted solely due to the theoretical possibility. It’s akin to pursuing manufacturers and sellers of ‘alcohol-free’ beer because theoretically, one could distill spirits from the contained alcohol. It’s all out of touch with reality. Therefore, the information guide serves as an emergency measure for the industry.”

You can find the information guide for raids here.

¹ The intoxication clause describes the theoretical possibility, assumed in case law, of becoming intoxicated by consuming large quantities of industrial hemp (INDUSTRIAL HEMP). This clause, which was no longer included in the previous draft bill of the Cannabis Act (CanG), was taken over from the Narcotics Act (Annex 1) in Section 1 No. 9 a) in the federal government’s cabinet draft. The responsible expert committee of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) had already recommended abolishing this intoxication clause on March 15, 2021. You can find the recommendation here. Find out more in our ELEMENTS Volume 21 “Why it is practically impossible for industrial hemp to be abused for intoxication purposes“.