How much THC can you legally eat or drink? The EU sets the standard
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and appears here with permission.
The European Commission (EC), which is the regional unit responsible for creating cannabis laws for all members of the EU, has finally released guidelines on the highest acceptable level of THC that can be allowed in cannabis hemp seed food products available for human consumption.
The two-part settlement
The EC has issued a two-tier regulation. The first of these, which has been authorized by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of the European Commission, stipulates that oil obtained from hemp seeds must not contain THC levels above 7.5 mg/kg.
The second regulation is that for dry foods containing hemp, such as flour and protein powder containing hemp seeds, as well as the hemp seeds themselves, the level of THC that may be in them must not not exceed 3 mg/kg.
To put this into an international perspective, a 10mg/kg limit has been placed on dry foods and oils containing hemp seeds in Canada. And in Switzerland, a limit double that of Canada has been established for petroleum products at 20mg/kg while the limit for dry products remains the same at 10mg/kg.
Effects of setting limits around the world of international hemp regulations
German cannabis lawyer Kai-Friedrich Niermann, who is currently suing the government over hemp import laws, welcomed the development. According to him, the decision of the European Commission was crucial and paved the way for the European hemp sector. Currently, this will be the first time that organized guide values will apply throughout the European Union.
Therefore, cases such as the complete recall of completely safe hemp products last August in Germany should be a thing of the past.
Lorenza Romanese, chief executive of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), the only EU-wide lobbying body with real lobbying power at the moment, agreed. She announced that the EIHA accepted the recently agreed limits. For the market to thrive, it must be a market based on standard rules and not tied to 27 national laws.
Uncertainty of restrictions
However, not everything is entirely satisfactory. The European Industrial Hemp Association is still unhappy. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is the continuing uncertainty that exists despite the proclamation. That is why. Laboratories that carry out analyzes for official controls and verification must comply with regulations on how to derive what is known as “measurement uncertainty”. The European Commission has not yet expressed what these uncertainty values are.
This creates a permanent ambiguity, which the new regulations have not yet resolved. Namely, a product is said to be non-compliant with the new regulation if it extends beyond the maximum authorized level and the additional margin of freedom. In the absence of a clear definition of what this delta is, producers will have to defend any measurement exceeding the limit, even minimal, with the authorities. According to the European Industrial Hemp Association, the development is finally ending the fragmentation of the internal market and will most likely boost investment in the sector.
Additional time will be given to stakeholders to adapt to the new rules by trading their current stock during a period of growth. The rules will also be binding on all member states of the European Union twenty days after publication of the regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Why is the procedure prolonged?
There is a certain sarcastic feel to the slow pace at which the European Commission’s hemp policy is evolving. This is due, rather shockingly given the slow pace of reform, to the fact that the European Commission also has a policy stating that hemp cultivation adds to the objectives of the European Green New Deal. This includes the crop’s ability to sequester carbon, promote biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, and enable the planting of crops that require little or no use of pesticides.
Another reason why all of this is very ironic is the fact that France is also, by far, the largest producer of hemp in the European Union, producing up to 70%, followed by the Netherlands with 10%. and Austria with 4%. . The most effective legal actions at European Union level to date have taken place in this country. Moreover, it is in this country that the fiercest battles over the regulation of the industry have taken place. This includes the current legal battle to allow the sale of hemp flowers in the country, not just extracts.
However, one thing was made clear. Because of all this, it is France, not Germany, that is leading the way in establishing country-specific guidelines that impact other countries, and even EU-level verdicts. European Union. Indeed, there is an ongoing case in Germany that seeks to verify European Union rules at the national level and is also shaped by the Kanavpe case in France.
Nevertheless, the days when hemp growers were not bound by formal policies like in the Wild West are coming to an end. Now let’s move on to the next battle
The ultimate goal of creating this restriction is to create a single market for hemp and dried products, as Europe consists of 27 member states who speak different languages and have other thoughts. The market is a mess, but now there are legally binding policies for everyone. Now that these clear hemp seed policies are available in Europe, EIHA believes they will help develop the market and attract outside investors.
While the EIHA is happy to have regulations in place, the association will continue to work to raise the thresholds for THC in hemp seed foods, as they believe the current regulations are too stringent. . The association is working on conducting a 400-part clinical toxicology study to find out the effects of foods containing CBD or other minimal cannabinoids on the human body. Fresh science obtained through studies will be provided to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), t. There will be a request for a new risk assessment to reassess the THC limits.