Spain is experiencing a resurgence of hemp, one of the species of cannabis with the lowest THC content, which has been used to produce textile, medicinal and food products.
“Hemp production could be a green revolution that would help reduce unemployment in rural areas in these times of economic crisis,” said the president of the Spanish association of hemp producers (AEPTC), Fernando Montero. But the European Union allows the industrial and agricultural production of hemp with a concentration of THC no higher than 0.2 percent.
Montero, who sells hemp along with his son in their company LaKaraba, said that even though they “meticulously” comply with all of the legal requirements, they are always a bit nervous when they plant, for fear that the authorities will swoop in at any given moment.
When the authorities find a shipment of a package of hemp leaves, the results of the analysis come up positive for THC, no matter how low the percentage. That automatically leads to confiscation of the product and the submission of a sample to the health authorities for a second lab test.
And while the tests determine whether or not the cannabis complies with the legal limits for THC content, the product can languish in a warehouse for weeks or even months, Arrillaga complained.
The hemp sector faces numerous hurdles in Spain, where it is even hard to find hemp seed dehulling machines. In other EU countries like France, Germany or Austria, meanwhile, the number of hectares dedicated to hemp production is growing fast.
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