Farmers in Iceland will be allowed to import industrial hempseeds for the first time this year after the health minister gave regulators the power to grant exceptions to the Nordic island’s total ban on cannabis and cannabis products. Says MJ Biz

Amendment to the regulation of narcotic drugs

The amendment will allow the Icelandic Medicines Agency to grant an exemption for industrial hemp


All custody and treatment of the cannabis plant and its derived products is prohibited in this country. However, the Icelandic Medicines Agency may grant an exemption from this prohibition in special cases, cf. an amendment to the regulation on narcotic drugs that took effect today, 22 April.

The exemption permits the import, treatment and storage of seeds for the cultivation of industrial hemp, but is subject to the conditions and restrictions to ensure that no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) containing or recoverable crops of up to 0.20% are imported or cultivated. It is also worth noting that imports of seed, including imports of seeds for industrial hemp, are subject to notification to the Icelandic Food Agency .

industrial Hemp

Industrial hemp is one type of cannabis plant. The cannabis addict is the active ingredient THC which, in addition to causing intoxication, is addictive. Industrial hemp, ie the varieties of cannabis plant grown for industrial production, on the other hand, differ from the traditional plant varieties in that it contains little or none of THC.

Temporary amendment of the regulation

The Minister of Health emphasizes that the amendment to the regulations is a temporary measure, as stated in a report on the Ministry of Health’s website . It also states that where the narcotics and drugs legislation obviously fall within the Ministry of Health’s policy areas, something that industrial hemp cultivation does not do, is to appoint a working group to bring these issues into a proper channel.

Details of industrial hemp exemption

Regulation no. 233/2001 on narcotic drugs and other regulated substances, as amended


Here’s the amendment

on (11) an amendment to Regulation no. 233/2001, on narcotic drugs and other regulated substances.
Article 1

A new article is added to the Regulation after Article 9. which becomes Article 9 a and it reads as follows:

Upon receiving an application, the Icelandic Medicines Agency grants an exemption from the provisions of this Regulation and the provisions of Act no. 65/1974, on narcotics and drugs, cf. Paragraph 3 Article 2 of the Act, for the import, treatment and storage of seed of the species Cannabis sativa for the sole purpose of cultivating industrial hemp. The exemption shall be subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

  1. The maximum amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the seed is 0.20%, as well as in the products that the seed may produce.
  2. In the case of the varieties of the species Cannabis sativa, which is specified in the EEA Joint Register of Plant Varieties of Agriculture published under Directive 2002/53 / EC, which is transposed into Icelandic law by Regulation No. 301/1995, on the control of spermatozoa.
  3. That the seed in question is accompanied by evidence showing that the varieties are listed in the EEA Joint List and which fulfill the requirements of Council Directive 2002/57 / EC on the marketing of oil and fiber seed seed transposed into Icelandic law by Regulation No . 301/1995, on the control of spermatozoa.


Article 2

This Regulation, which is authorized by the third paragraph of Art. Article 2 Act no. 65/1974, on Substance Abuse and Substances, with subsequent amendments, becomes effective immediately.


Ministry of Health, April 17, 2020.


Svandís Svavarsdóttir.

Ásta Valdimarsdóttir.





Department B – Issue: April 21, 2020