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Hemp may help rebuild economy in the wake of COVID-19

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) have published a manifesto calling for the widespread adoption of hemp as the premium crop while damning the current economic climate.

“Today’s environmental and health catastrophes are the price the world is paying for the negative externalities deriving from global economic growth based on individualism, greed and disrespect for all other forms of life.”

In The Hemp Manifesto, the EIHA outlines how hemp may play a crucial role in creating a greener and more sustainable future for our society by providing “nutritious food, environmentally friendly non-food products, clean air and soils.”

The manifesto also calls for the removal of punitive restrictions and a variety of hemp-friendly measures. This would include a max level of 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) on seeds which would allow farmers to compete with international standards and breed varieties compatible with consumer trends.

Rural areas, in general, could be positively impacted by such changes. Economic benefits for farmers could create a huge economic growth as well as provide much-need environmental change.

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However, there needs to be decisive changes and concrete proposals in order to create these changes.

EIHA’S Proposals

  1. Public policies should promote hemp use in food, feed and manufactured products and finance the development of sustainable value chains.
  2. The contribution to the environment of the hemp plant should be recognised and the use of hemp for carbon farming is encouraged.
  3. Member States should not apply the drug control legislations to hemp and its derived products, as long as the limits established for THC content are respected.
  4. The maximum THC level allowed on the field should be restored to 0.3%.
  5. Operators should be allowed to harvest, produce from all parts of the plant, including flowers and leaves, and market any kind of product, whilst maintaining compliance with the THC content limits.
  6. Hemp and hemp preparations containing a naturally occurring cannabinoid content should not be considered as novel food.
  7. Reasonable guidance values for THC in food and feed should be established.
  8. All hemp-derived raw materials should be permitted as ingredients for cosmetics.
  9. The EU should value and promote the use of hemp fibres for the production of short and long fibre for textiles and favour the establishment of sustainable value chains.
  10. The use of hemp-based construction and other materials should be incentivised both in public and private sectors, with clear goals for the total or partial substitution of other less sustainable alternatives.
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Jon Cosgrave

Jon is a content writer and copywriter. When not grappling with words, he grapples at jiu-jitsu. His fingers are in constant agony.

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