The news broke on October 23, 2020: the European Parliament voted in favor of theincrease in the level of legal THC in European plants from 0,2% to 0,3%. A relief for producers, consumers and distributors, who will all be able to benefit from this legislative victory. What are the stakes in this decision, why now, and why is this such good news? Weedy explains to you!
Legal THC rate at 0,3%: the European Parliament votes in favor
This is a historic decision for the cannabis market which was voted by Brussels on 23 October 2020 as part of the new CAP, understand common Agricultural Policy. Delivered in pain, this reform should agree a majority of MEPs on what to do with the few 387 billion budget dedicated over the next seven years, which is nothing less than the first budget item of the European Union (EU). They voted for this (or not!) To over a thousand amendments.
Among them, subjects as important as the protection of biodiversity and the fight against global warming. Still among them, the proposal, notably defended by theEIHA (European Industrial Hemp Association), push back the legal THC rate from 0,2% to 0,3%. Good news, it's about one of the approved amendments !
On the basis of all the approved proposals, MEPs still have to, in collaboration with the European Commission and the states, negotiate and make a final decision on what will happen to each new rule. They will then be applied from 2023.
Why this sudden interest in Europe in legal cannabis?
Europe has a more than ambivalent relationship with cannabis, this is nothing new. It must be said that, even if it calls itself "Union", it is made up of very diverse nations, and this in many aspects.
Culturally, economically, geographically, demographically, how indeed can we dare to put countries as different as Portugal, Germany, Hungary or France on the same level? We thus find ourselves with, in the same group, convinced resellers like the Netherlands, light cannabis neo-growers like Portugal, supporters of development of therapeutic cannabis like Germany and massive producers of industrial hemp who do not want to hear about legalization like France. Yet despite their local disparities and own convictions, all must come to terms with the same supranational law : that of the European Parliament.
So let's not lie to ourselves, just because this same Parliament ultimately voted in favor of a 0,3% legal THC rate rather than 0,2% that all his reservations are over. Far from there. Yet, if the response is not local, it may well be, at least partially, international. If we dared, it even looks geopolitical.
Surprise question: what is the THC level authorized by the two biggest competitors in Europe (the United States and China) in terms of industrial hemp? You have it ?
0,3%, on target!
Health, high effects, addiction: why allow more THC?
It's no secret, THC is addictive and psychotropic. Its hovering effect is also undoubtedly the main responsible for the long-standing demonization of the molecule. This also explains that freely and legally available products give pride of place to CBD, a cannabinoid also offering notorious effects on the human body, but without addiction and moreover without any known major side effects.
So would we have suddenly realized that THC is not that dangerous? Not quite. On the contrary, some of its properties have been recognized for a long time, which has earned it a almost systematic presence in so-called therapeutic cannabis treatments, in countries that allow it. Its less good sides, to put it simply, mean that many governments prefer not to invest in research or take responsibility for potential abuses.
THC rate at 0,3% instead of 0,2%: what does that really change?
We are talking here about reducing the legal rate from 0,2% (in the plant, not the end product) to 0,3%. Knowing that a wild marijuana plant, and many varieties on the black market, can blithely exceed 20% THC, these are anecdotal amounts, including the impact on health as the effects will only be minimal. This new legislation therefore does not a priori not involve more risks to health or safety. This should not have a noticeable impact on the side of black market productions either.
On the contrary, hybridizing and stabilizing new cannabis strains is a long and expensive process, both in time and money. The tolerance of a CBD rate of 0,3% in European strains therefore leaves more margin for local producers. This should therefore both encourage the development of the cultivation of legal cannabis on European soil, But also foster creation and therefore, in the longer term, the commercialization of new legal cannabis strains.
Good news for all
In view of the insights provided here, this news should therefore be well received on all sides:
- By consumers hoping for more wide variety of cannabis products, better and, potentially, to a best price.
- By producers, taking less financial risk working on the development and cultivation of CBD-rich cannabis strains in Europe.
- By governments, who thus stimulate local economies rather than, in the best case, the import.