European Parliament votes to add 0.3% THC limit for hemp to EU farm policy overhaul

European flags wave in front of the Berlaymont, which houses the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels.

The European Parliament has voted to raise the THC limit for industrial hemp from 0.2% to 0.3% and allow hemp and hemp-derived products to be subject to European Union marketing standards.

The votes came last week as three changes to the European Union’s massive agricultural subsidies program.

The European Parliament doesn’t have final say on the farm policy overhaul, but hemp activists in Europe applauded the votes to bring Europe’s hemp THC limit in line with those used in the Americas.

“The increase of (the) THC level would allow new varieties to enter the market and to be bred, resulting in a better adaptation of the crops to the climatic conditions of the different EU territories,” the European Industrial Hemp Association said in a statement on Monday.

The votes were taken to establish the European Parliament’s stance on the proposed Common Agricultural Policy reform, which will determine how the European Union’s farm subsidies will be carried out after 2020. Amendments affecting the hemp industry included:

  • Amendments 8 and 93, which would increase the THC limit for hemp plants in the field to 0.3% from its current level of 0.2%.
  • Amendment 234, which would add hemp to the sectors covered by EU marketing standards, allowing the eventual establishment of criteria on grading products, their appearance, consistency, product characteristics and restrictions regarding the use of certain substances and practices.

The authority to adopt and amend legislation and decide the EU budget is divided between the European Parliament, Council of the European Union and the European Commission. Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in EU countries.

Trilateral talks with negotiators from the Parliament, Council and Commission on future EU farm policy are likely to begin in mid-November, though the timing has yet to be confirmed, European Parliament press officer Jan Jakubov told Hemp Industry Daily.

Monica Raymunt can be reached at [email protected]

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