Hemp associations from all over the world join forces and speak out: industrial hemp is an agricultural product, not a drug
09/08/2020 | 01:14pm EDT
Washington D.C. and Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prior to the UN vote in December and in the midst of a puzzling and unfair situation concerning the legal status of Cannabis sativa L. around the globe, The National Hemp Association, America's largest hemp advocacy organization has joined the world’s hemp associations to issue a common firm statement that aims at shedding light on the discussion about industrial hemp versus drug cannabis.
The joint position paper is based on two international legal instruments: the Single Convention of 1961 (C61), amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (C71). The Convention was ratified almost 60 years ago by 180 states and it still determines today’s national drug control legislations worldwide.
It is worth recalling that the Convention only applies to cannabis varieties containing high levels of the psychotropic substance THC. Hence, a clear distinction is made between drug-type cannabis varieties, i.e. cannabis for adult use or medical purposes - that fall under the – scope of the treaties – and Industrial hemp varieties, that are characterised by their low THC content. The latter is farmed for commercial purposes (cosmetics, food and feed,construction materials, etc.) and cannot lead to abuse nor dependence. Therefore, it can be inferred that industrial hemp is clearly exempted from the scope of the treaties and that its downstream products and derivatives are not and have never been listed in the Schedules of these Conventions - where narcotic drugs are registered.
Nevertheless, the recent preliminary conclusion made by the European Commission, and by some U.S. States by which extracts from industrial hemp varieties of Cannabis sativa L. are being considered as narcotics, prompts the need to collectively demand scientifically-based and transparent policies that will enable the flourishing of the global hemp sector, instead of causing it and the fiber and seed component's demise.
Therefore, the aim of this position paper is to establish, together with international and national regulatory authorities, a transparent set of rules for the industrial hemp sector in order to harness the enormous economic, environmental and nutritional benefits of hemp. Achieving a whole-plant approach by being able to farm and market all parts of the plant would have a truly positive impact on agriculture, the environment, the economy, consumers’ health and well-being, and, of course, the whole hemp industry.
Lead by EIHA Managing Director, Lorenza Romanese, "Anyone who reads our rationale without prejudice will see that industrial hemp is a valuable and multi-purpose agricultural plant", said Lorenza Romanese. "Having a botanical link to drug cannabis cannot and must not sentence an entire hemp industry to death. I can only urge authorities to read our position paper and take action. "
"I have learned from my discussions with Agricultural leaders around the globe, both from within governments and from farmers, that the world was awaiting passage of hemp legalization from the United States, which will give a clear message that the world's largest economy is embracing hemp" said Geoff Whaling, Chair of the National Hemp Association."World leaders now need to come together to ensure that every nation has a level foundation on which to build a hemp economy."
"It is time that our industry can finally grow, produce and sell according to internationally valid regulations – without constantly encountering new and majorobstacles", says Daniel Kruse, President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA). "Our line of arguments is clear: the cultivation of all parts of the hemp plant for industrial purposes is legal. The Single Convention only deals with the illicit farming and trafficking of high-THC cannabis and cannabis resin, not with low-THC cannabis used for commercial purposes".
1 Signatory organizations and associations of the industrial hemp sector:
ACU Asia-Pacific CBD Union
Australian Hemp Council
BHA British Hemp Alliance
CHTA/ACCC Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance/Alliance Commerciale Canadienne du Chanvre
EIHA European Industrial Hemp Association
HIHA Hokkaido JP. Industrial Hemp Association
LAIHA Latin America Industrial Hemp Association
Mongolian Hemp Association
NHA National Hemp Association
NZHIA New Zealand Hemp Industries Association
Note to editors:
About the National Hemp Association:
NHA is a non-profit corporation, based in Washington D.C. with more than 50,000 supporters and members, is dedicated to the development of the domestic hemp industry. The organization is growing to become one of the largest hemp advocacy groups in the world. This goal will be attained by coordinating legislation, agricultural organizations, farmers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers. The promotion of the hemp industry is congruent with the desire to improve the environment through production and utilization of hemp farming and products. We see a direct relationship between the products we use and stewardship of the land. www.nationalhempassociation.org
The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) represents the common interests of hemp farmers, producers and traders working with hemp fibres, shives, seeds, leaves and cannabinoids. Our main task is to serve, protect and represent the hemp sector in the EU and international policy-making. EIHA covers different areas for the application of hemp, namely its use for construction materials, textiles, cosmetics, feed, food and supplements.