Processing regulations and the effect on the industry
Here in the UK you can grow hemp industrially with a licence given by the government.
However, getting this licence doesn't mean you can use the whole plant to make an income, you can only use the seed and stalk - the leaves and flowers are still illegal to process. This seems counter intuitive, especially in a country where we are allowed to use & sell CBD products as a food supplement but not allowed to use the biomass grown in this country to extract from!
This doesn’t make sense - why can’t we use the whole plant? Not only is it a shameful waste of a crop for our already struggling farmers but its also allowing a hugely taxable industry to slip through our fingers and out of our economy. This also means most CBD sellers here in the UK are forced to import their raw ingredients/products which means we are creating a carbon footprint on an environmentally friendly plant that sequesters carbon as it grows.
The red tape and regulations around this industrial crop are a minefield to get through and the clarity of these already complicated laws is enough to melt your brain. There are new rules being introduced in 2021 that will regulate the sale of CBD as a food product as it is being made a novel food. This means any food that has not been consumed largely by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997 is to be regulated as a novel food.
These new regulations will help push out the cowboys and snake oil salesmen in the industry but still don’t clear up the issue with the strict rules for UK farmers.
To summarise: we need the UK government to allow farmers to extract from their crops.
Whether this be made clear with licensing or just allowing farmers to sell their plant material to regulated extractors here in the UK. We need industry in this country more than ever and the millions and millions of pounds that could be helping to grow our economy.
The stigma and public’s view surrounding this plant are falling by the waste side so why not change the laws whilst we are at it...