Berlin, 10/25/2023: The Cannabis Act (CanG) is expected to be passed in the Bundestag in November. The professional associations welcome the associated progress, such as the removal from the Narcotics Act (BtMG). However, there is still considerable need for improvement. To this end, the professional associations have submitted a joint position paper. The main points are:
- It is seen particularly critically that an alleged, completely non-vital “misuse for intoxication purposes” should continue to be punishable in the case of non-THChemp products. This so-called “intoxication clause” has already led to numerous convictions of traders and proceedings against farmers. Thus, the cultivation and sale of commercial hemp products, such as flowers, hemp leaves and CBD oils is unnecessarily endangered, although even the expert committee of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) has already called for the amendment of this disproportionate regulation in 2021. This superfluous and anti-competitive regulation was sensibly no longer included in the Federal Government’s draft bill of 05.07.2023 and, for unknown reasons, reappeared in the Federal Government’s cabinet decision of 08/16/2023.
- With regard to the definitions, the associations attach importance to the fact that instead of the currently differently interpretable definitions, preparations are explicitly defined as industrial hemp and extracts from industrial hemp are generally explicitly permitted in order to enable a legally secure distribution of high-quality CBD products, full-spectrum extracts, etc. produced in Germany. This would also be an imperative of rationality and common sense, as there are no health hazards from industrial hemp products.
- In addition, the opportunity to reduce bureaucracy should be seized; in particular, the mandatory flowering reports and harvest releases regulated in § 25 (1) GAPInVeKoS could now be completely abolished and, if necessary, replaced by spot checks. The mandatory postal submission of seed labels could also be replaced by a digital receipt submission (label, invoice or delivery bill) or a retention requirement with random checks. Another advance would also be automated data retrieval of farmers’ IACS data by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food. No other agricultural product is as strictly regulated in Germany as industrial hemp. In practice, this has significant negative consequences for farmers.
- Moreover, the amendment provides the possibility of adjusting the permitted THC limit for industrial hemp from 0.3% to 1.0%, as is already the case in the Czech Republic and Switzerland. This would significantly improve research and development opportunities for variety diversity and quality, especially of seeds for cultivation in Germany. Moreover, the limit value should only apply to the end product; raw and intermediate products for the B2B sector for further processing should be allowed to have higher values.
- For the fullest possible agricultural use of industrial hemp products, it is important that hemp oil, hemp seeds and hemp fibers, as well as flowers and leaves, are again included in the positive list for feed. In order to avoid a potential transfer of THC into food (“carry-over effect”), a feeding ban should be imposed on lactating animals whose milk is used for human nutrition (i.e. cow, goat, sheep, mare, etc.).
In this regard, the association representatives state:
Marijn Roersch van der Hoogte, Vice President and Division Coordinator Industrial Hemp & Food (BvCW e. V.): “We see a historic opportunity here to finally allow the full development of the sustainable potential of the industrial hemp plant instead of bureaucratic shackles and penal risks and thus to eliminate competitive disadvantages compared to other countries.”
Daniel Kruse, President (EIHA e.V.): “The new German legislation should align with existing European law and acknowledge that European industrial hemp varieties do not pose a risk of abuse. The raw material known in German as “industrial hemp” must be able to be further processed and also extracted in an industrially legally secure manner in order to be able to produce marketable products such as food, preparations and climate-neutral materials from it.”
Aaron Kamperschroer, Executive Director (NHN e.V.): “In a sustainable economy, hemp will not only provide fiber and oil, but will also be the basis for important industrial progress that renews our world in an ecologically responsible way and benefits people.”
The potential uses of hemp as a renewable resource are many, these include in particular: Construction and insulation materials (lime, concrete, stones, cladding panels, etc.), clothing and technical textiles (e.g. fiber composites), cosmetics & personal care products (ointments, creams, shampoos, lotions, etc.), food (cooking oil, tea, protein powder, milk substitute, beer, etc.), paper, bioplastics, essential and technical oils, and soil regeneration.
The joint association paper can be found here.
The associations have presented their extensive proposals for change in more detailed statements:
ELEMENTE Volume 36: Statement Cabinet Decision CanG
ELEMENTS Volume 34: Position paper – Hemp as food
ELEMENTS Volume 32: Position paper – Hemp as foodstuff
ELEMENTS Volume 31: Position paper – Agricultural support for industrial hemp
ELEMENTS Volume 21: Why it is practically impossible that industrial hemp is misused for intoxication purposes
ELEMENTS Volume 19: Industrial hemp in Germany – overview in figures
ELEMENTS Volume 12: Hemp as a renewable raw material – positions and demands from the Industrial Hemp & Food sector
Trade associations & contact persons:
The BvCW is the voice of the cannabis industry in Germany and represents all industry segments and company sizes vis-à-vis politics and administration. Our specialist areas are divided into “Recreational cannabis regulation”, “Industrial hemp & food”, “Medical cannabis”, “CBD et al.” and “Technology, trade & services”. We bundle industrial policy, technological, scientific and economic expertise and advocate for better political framework conditions.
The European Industrial Hemp Association represents the common interests of hemp farmers, producers and traders working with hemp fibers, shives, seeds, oil, leaves and cannabinoids. Our main mission is to represent, support and protect the hemp sector in the EU and internationally. EIHA covers various applications of hemp, in particular its use in textiles, building materials, paper, cosmetics, animal feed, food and food supplements.
The industrial hemp network (“Nutzhanf-Netzwerk e.V. (NHN)”) promotes the common interests of hemp farmers and processors who work with fibers, shives, seeds, leaves and other components of hemp plants. The main task of the NHN is to promote sustainable hemp cultivation. The association supports this with knowledge, advice and experience. The board consists of several experts who understand the importance of the plant for humans, animals and nature.