Cannabis has been dominating the conversation a lot lately. Not only do more people use cannabis and cannabis products than ever before, but a number of countries have already legalized adult recreational use, with more working on legalization policies. Hemp, a variety of cannabis with minuscule levels of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), has been subject to intense interest.
The variety is insanely versatile, with applications ranging from construction and manufacturing to nutrition. While marijuana has higher levels of THC, the chemical that makes you high, hemp has increased levels of cannabidiol (CBD). The chemical isn’t psychoactive, but it is said to be a potent natural medicine capable of acting against a plethora of ailments.
Italy saw hemp production increase from 988 acres in 2013 to 9,884 acres in 2018. Earlier this month, the country put forth a decree setting allowable THC limits for foods made from hemp grain. This has been a bone of contention for farmers for a while, and the decree by the Italy Ministry of Health will help clear things up.
The ministry set the maximum THC levels at 2 milligrams per kilogram for flour, seeds, and supplements derived from hemp seed (grain) and 5 milligrams per kilogram for oil derived from hemp seeds.
The rule only applies to hemp food derived from the plant’s grain, excluding any other cannabinoids like CBD. In the European Union, CBD foods are considered ‘novel foods’, and they have to go through premarket safety assessments before they can be allowed on the shelves.
This comes after numerous complaints that there was confusion over permitted THC levels in hemp-derived products such as foods, oils, supplements, and animal feeds. In a past statement, Agriculture Undersecretary Alessandra Pesce said: “There’s an open dossier which we are working on right now, and we hope to be able to issue a ministerial decree about fixing the limit of THC allowed in food derived from industrial hemp.”
The new hemp decree also states that toxin sampling must be carried out according to a set of EU testing rules established in 2006 and that THC smoking will follow EU testing rules that have been in place since 2016.
The Italian National Confederation of Independent Farmers welcomed the new hemp decree, saying that “the long-awaited publication clarifies a sector that in recent years has seen a real boom, and it finally gives answers to the hundreds of farms that have invested in the cultivation of hemp.”
Analysts think that hemp industry actors like No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR) are glad that the hemp industry in Italy now has a clear direction to follow as it grows.
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