How does Germany’s legislation process impact the industrial hemp sector?

On 25th of October 2022, the Cabinet of the Health Ministry of Germany released a federal government's key points paper containing the basic framework for the legalization of the cannabis for adult use market. The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and German association Nutzhanf Netzwerk e. V. (NHN) welcome and supports the document that will, on the one hand, pave the way for positive developments to be made in Germany for this new market and, on the other hand, will certainly normalize and enhance the acceptance of the industrial hemp plant.

The legalization of the market for Adults' Cannabis requires, first and foremost, an alignment with EU and International treaties. With this document, Germany is opening a discussion with EU authorities to investigate the compliance of the German decision with respect to the International and European laws. According to the German Federal Government, the plan to legalize cannabis in Germany is in line with the purpose and legal requirements of the conventions, as the focus of the reform is the protection of health and young people and not the promotion of cannabis use. Now it is up to the European Commission to provide comments on the key points.

The most relevant point for the industrial hemp sector is the interpretation made by the Ministry on THC. In the document, it is clearly stated that "Cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will no longer be legally classified as narcotics within the meaning of the Narcotics Act," ending the Damocles sword hanging over the industrial
hemp sector since the prohibition started in the 30'. This interpretation will immediately nullify all court cases going on in Germany regarding the ban of industrial hemp because wrongly considered a narcotic.

Aaron Kamperschroer, Managing director of Nutzhanf-Netzwerk e. V. (industrial hemp network, Germany): "The development in Germany on Cannabis is an opportunity for the industrial hemp sector and will most probably generate a cascade effect on other members States.
In this respect, the presentation of the key points paper by Health Minister Lauterbach could even lead to a historic paradigm shift in dealing with cannabis and industrial hemp for Germany and all of Europe."

With this document, the German government made clear that cannabis legalization is a priority for the current government, and it will be implemented against all odds. EIHA and NHN welcome this determination and will support the reform of cannabis and
industrial hemp policy at the European and German level. Similar reforms are already being prepared in other EU member states. Both associations encourage the German government to consider a threshold of industrial hemp up to 1% of THC and to closely
coordinate the adoption of the legal framework with the other Member States.

Daniel Kruse, entrepreneur of the hemp industry since 1995 and President of EIHA, elaborates further: "In 1993, the rediscovery of the hemp plant started in Germany and also in other European countries. The first 25 years were characterized by a gradual, sustainable development of an industry with many economic outputs and with
boundless perspectives. Since 2019, triggered by the hype around CBD, our sector has been faced with unpredictable challenges like no other. Questionable Novel Food decisions, out-of-the-air allegations regarding narcotics, and arbitrary crackdowns on THC and CBD in food have caused huge economic damages, retarding growth to the
point of destroyed companies and dismantled jobs. The witch-hunt on hemp could now finally come to an end. The intended amendment of the Narcotics Act (BtMG) in Germany will give a further boost to the hemp sector and will put an end to the stigmatization of hemp, wrongly considered a narcotic".

For more information:
European Industrial Hemp Association

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