Canna Reporter Europe writes
The rules of industrial hemp have now been changed, once again, with the publication of Ordinance 64/2023 updating the THC limit to 0.3%, as it had been established by the European Commission in December 2021. The Portuguese government’s amendment ignored requests from farmers, traders and the entire hemp sector, proving to be quite conservative: it limited itself to transposing the European directive late, updating only one point. The measure should have come into force on 1 January 2023, but we are in Portugal: the Ordinance was signed by six Ministries and took more than two months to see the light of day.
The Portuguese hemp sector today agreed to a new change in regulations for the cultivation of hemp. Ordinance 64/2023, published in the Diário da República, simply transposed, into national legislation, the provisions of Regulation ( UE ) 2021/2115, which was approved by the European Parliament in December 2021.
On the other hand, the Portuguese Government has shown itself to be conservative in the changes, which failed to contemplate the changes claimed by sector associations, even after of judicial decisions that point hemp as a non-stunned product.
Minister of Agriculture was the last to sign the document
The document, signed by the six ministries responsible for regulation in this matter, makes the second amendment to the Ordinance No. 83/2021, of 15 April, namely with updates on the requirements for examining applications and procedures for granting authorizations for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The document ran through the six ministries for almost two months and changed only one point, precisely because the European Union obliged it to do so. The aim is to align country regulations with strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the Common Agricultural Policy ( PAC ), financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
However, the hemp sector, which anticipated the publication of an ordinance ( the provisions of the European Regulation are transposed into mandatory national legislation ), thus saw the legislator miss an opportunity to combine the transposition of European regulations with the demands of industry. The Portuguese government ignored the farmers’ demands regarding the imposition of a minimum cultivation area of 5,000 square meters, the restriction of agronomic practices, limitation of sowing densities, the prohibition of the practice of cultivation in greenhouses, the requirement of commercial contracts for farmers and the prohibition of using all parts of the plant, prohibiting access to flowers.
The amendment, carried out by the group of Ministers of Internal Administration, Justice, Finance, Economy and Sea, Health and Agriculture, seems to have been initiated by the Minister of Finance, on January 10, 2023, having followed for the Minister of Internal Administration on February 6. The document only received the opinion of the Minister of Justice on 20 February. From now on, just over a week was enough for the document to gather the signatures of the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Health, with the Minister of Agriculture, the last signature for later publication, which finally took place today.