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  • Writer's pictureTruHemp Official

Legal Status of Hemp and How It's Regulated Around the World


Hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species, has been used for thousands of years for a variety of purposes, including food, textiles, and medicine. However, due to its close relationship with marijuana, the legal status of hemp has been a topic of controversy for many years. In recent years, however, hemp has experienced a resurgence in popularity due to its many benefits and the growing recognition of its potential as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative in various industries.


India: Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use. The cultivation, production, and use of hemp in India are regulated by the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, 1985 and the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Rules, 1985.


According to these regulations, the cultivation of hemp is legal in India only if the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content in the plant is 0.3% or less. THC is the main psychoactive component of marijuana, and it is the presence of this substance that makes marijuana illegal. Hemp, on the other hand, has low THC levels and is therefore considered to have no psychoactive effects.


It is important to note that the NDPS Act differentiates between the psychoactive form of the cannabis plant (marijuana) and the non-psychoactive form (hemp), but enforcement of these distinctions can be inconsistent across the country.


In recent years, there have been efforts to promote the use of industrial hemp in India, given its potential as a crop for sustainable agriculture and its wide range of uses in industries such as textiles, food and drinks, and construction materials. However, there is still a need for clarity and consistency in the regulation of hemp in India to fully realize its potential.


Today, the cultivation and use of industrial hemp are regulated by the Indian government and the Narcotic Control Bureau. However, there is still some confusion and uncertainty surrounding the legal status of hemp in India, and the government is still working to establish clear regulations and guidelines for its cultivation and use.


United States: Hemp was widely cultivated and used in the United States for a variety of purposes, including food, textiles, and medicine. However, in 1970, hemp was classified as a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and was effectively banned from cultivation and use.


In recent years, however, there has been a growing recognition of the many benefits of hemp and a growing movement to legalize and regulate its cultivation and use. In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and made it an agricultural crop.


Today, the cultivation and use of hemp are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are governed by the regulations established by the Farm Bill. Under these regulations, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The USDA also sets standards for the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp products.


Canada: In Canada, the cultivation, production, and use of hemp are regulated by the federal government under the Cannabis Act. The Act came into effect in October 2018, and it legalized the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis in the country. The cultivation, production, and sale of hemp are regulated under the Hemp Regulations, which are part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). These regulations define hemp as the cannabis plant and its derivatives, with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of 0.3% or less in the flowering heads and leaves.


The cultivation of hemp is allowed for industrial purposes, including the production of textiles, paper, food and beverages, and personal care products. The sale and use of hemp-derived products, such as hemp oil and hemp seeds, are also legal in Canada.


However, there are restrictions on the use of hemp for food and beverage purposes, as the Food and Drug Regulations do not allow the addition of cannabis or hemp-derived ingredients to foods or beverages. The sale of hemp-derived products for recreational use, such as CBD oil, is also restricted, as these products are subject to the regulations of the Cannabis Act.


In conclusion, the legal status of hemp in Canada is regulated and restricted, but it is legal for industrial purposes, and the sale and use of hemp-derived products for non-recreational purposes are also allowed, subject to certain restrictions.


Europe: The legal status of hemp in Europe varies by country. However, in general, the cultivation, production, and use of hemp are regulated by the European Union (EU) and are considered legal.


Under EU law, hemp is defined as a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that contains no more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) on a dry weight basis. This means that hemp is considered to be a low-THC form of cannabis and is therefore legal for cultivation and use in the EU. This definition is reflected in the EU's regulation on the cultivation of industrial hemp (Council Regulation (EC) No 1307/2013).


The EU has established regulations for the cultivation of hemp, which include specific requirements for seed varieties, production methods, and labeling. The production of hemp products, such as fibers, seeds, and oils, is also regulated, and products must meet specific standards in order to be sold in the EU market.


In conclusion, the legal status of hemp in Europe is largely governed by EU regulations and is considered legal, provided that the THC limit of 0.2% is not exceeded. However, it is important to note that individual countries may have their own specific regulations and requirements, and it is always best to check the laws in your specific country before cultivating or using hemp products.


Australia: In Australia, the cultivation, production, and use of hemp are regulated by the federal government through the Office of Drug Control (ODC). According to the ODC, hemp is considered to be a low-THC form of cannabis, and it is legal for cultivation, production, and use in Australia, provided that certain conditions are met. These conditions include the need for a license from the ODC, the use of approved seeds, and compliance with the THC limit of 0.35% or less.


The use of hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) products is also legal in Australia, provided that they comply with the relevant regulations and laws, including the requirement that they contain no more than 0.5% THC.


In conclusion, the legal status of hemp is constantly evolving, and its regulation varies greatly from country to country. However, with the growing recognition of its many benefits and its potential as a sustainable alternative in various industries, it is likely that the legal status of hemp will continue to change and evolve in the coming years. As hemp continues to gain popularity, it will be important for governments, businesses, and consumers to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in the world of hemp.

Do you think hemp should be treated as any other agricultural produce?

  • Obviously, it shouldn't even be a question.

  • No, we are still not clear about its psychoactive elements.

  • It should be regulated since its from the cannabis family.


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