Lithuanian hemp growers say the new version of the Baltic country’s hemp law is a missed opportunity to give the industry a new (legal) high. Lithuania was the European Union’s second-largest producer of hemp in 2019, with 9,182 hectares under cultivation. The industry is booming in the EU, with the cultivated area soaring to 56,196 hectares in 2019, and with production growing 62% to 152,820 tonnes.
The full legalization of industrial hemp could boost sales of the Lithuanian industry to €200 million, supporters say.
Hemp can be used in textiles, food and animal feed, construction, paper, cosmetics, and health products, as well as biofuels. According to the EU, hemp cultivation is also beneficial for carbon storage, allowing crop rotation cycles, preventing soil erosion, and encouraging biodiversity.
However, the liberal-conservative government has so far failed to pass a set of sub-laws to the revised version of the 2013 law that comes into effect on November 1, which are required to boost the production and sale of fiber hemp-based foods, cosmetics, pet food, and other products in the country.
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