STA, 6 October 2020 - Hemp growers and supporters have called on the Slovenian government to regulate hemp growing in the country so that farmers producing industrial hemp could be internationally competitive and the industry may grow. They have also called for the commitments for legalisation of medical marijuana to be met.
The call was issued at Tuesday's press conference by the interest association Cannagiz, the Konopko cooperative of hemp growers and the Ljubljana-based International Institute for Cannabinoids (INCANNA).
Presenting the letter sent to the government and parliament, Cannagiz president Rok Terkaj noted that the national authorities have not even gotten the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs from 1961 translated into Slovenian.
As a consequence, the legislation on hemp in Slovenia is one of the most obsolete in the EU, and the growing and processing of hemp is consequently uncompetitive.
Industrial hemp grower Bogdan Mak noted that the size of agricultural land covered with industrial hemp was dropping drastically. Five years ago, it was 500 hectares and now it is less than 200 hectares this year.
He called for regulations to be changed so that multiple sowing of hemp is possible in one year and that growing in greenhouses is allowed, which would increase the volume of produce in a small area and make Slovenian growers competitive in Europe.
Terkaj said that due to restrictions, Slovenian industrial hemp growers were forced to move their businesses to Austria and Italy.
The regulations limit the content of the psychoactive substance THC in industrial hemp to 0.2%, while Cannagiz proposes that the limit be increased to 1%, which would provide for the same level of safety while enabling better production.
When it comes to the use of medical marijuana, the Health Ministry has been called to draft legislation enabling treatment with medical marijuana as a medicine and growing and processing of hemp for medicinal purposes.
Tanja Bagar of INCANNA noted that patients in Slovenia could get synthetically produced cannabinoids in pharmacies, but many of them wanted hemp products due to synergies of various cannabinoids. They resort to black market, where they get unregulated products, she added.
Cannagiz has also called for legalisation of the production and sale of cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from hemp, which is not a psychoactive substance, as only the sale of pharmaceutically synthesised or isolated CBD is allowed in Slovenia at the moment.
Gorazd Reberšek of the association noted that producers of natural CBD were treated by Slovenian law as organisers of the production and trade in prohibited substances.
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