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Thousands of cannabis firms reject 0.03% THC proposals



Over 1,000 businesses have warned the move would be a "disaster"

Leading cannabis trade bodies have rejected a controversial proposed THC limit on hemp and CBD products, deepening an industry rift.

Earlier this week, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, Centre for Medical Cannabis and the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group released a paper which suggested a 0.03 percent THC limit should be adopted by the Home Office.

Under the proposals, CBD products and hemp strains below those levels would be exempted from controlled status.

The paper’s authors set out to address what they described as “widespread confusion” at the UK regulations – but industry leaders are not satisfied with the approach.

A letter by four key industry bodies representing over 1,000 businesses warns the move would be a “disaster” and is too stringent to allow the UK hemp sector to grow.

The letter is co-signed by the British Hemp Alliance, Cannabis Trade Association, Northern Ireland Hemp Association and Scottish Hemp Association. It reads: “A 0.03 percent limit to import flowers and leaves would be incredibly restrictive and destroy a domestic industry worth up to £300 million in the UK.

“With the forecasted increase in temperatures and droughts, the THC level is only going to naturally rise in all cannabis varieties over time.”

Instead, they argue, the industry should be pushing Whitehall to adopt a more liberal one percent limit as a “logical way forward” to keep “the UK competitive with the rest of the world”.

The proposed 0.03 percent limit – or 21 micrograms per day – is part of a wider set of policy proposals aimed at harmonising UK regulation.

But proposed changes to how certain consumer CBD products are classified and regulated were also met with opposition for not going far enough: “CBD as a food supplement should be available to anyone who wants it, and all hemp extracts and foods up to 0.2 percent THC should be completely removed from the misuse of drugs act and exempt from controlled drug handling licenses.

“While we support setting a maximum daily limit for THC consumption in hemp products, we cannot support 0.03 percent as a maximum in food supplements, nor of the idea of Schedule 5 cannabis medicines for products containing 0.03-0.2 percent THC.”

The letter goes on to say any policy changes must take into account an upcoming white paper being drafted by Professor Mike Barnes.

The authors of the original report have been contacted for comment.

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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