The State of Hemp Legalization Worldwide

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Hemp legalizationPresident Donald Trump signed into law the Farm Bill in 2018. The good news is that he made growing and possessing hemp legal throughout the U.S. For a long time, hemp has been judged wrongly and unfairly because it is related to marijuana. A revolution in hemp legalization is sweeping the world as people notice the various benefits of hemp. There still needs to be a disparity in the laws worldwide regarding the possession, cultivation, distribution, or even use of hemp.  

Hemp vs marijuana

Before we talk about the legal status of hemp worldwide, let’s set the record straight. Hemp is not marijuana. The two come from the same genus, cannabis, but that is the farthest they share a similarity. While hemp is mainly used for manufacturing, marijuana is commonly used for recreational and spiritual purposes. Hemp plant also grows up to 15 feet while marijuana only grows up to 5 feet. Hemp contains 0.3 to 1.5% of Tetrahydrocannabinol, while marijuana includes a high of 30% of the same substance. This is why using marijuana has mind-altering effects, which hemp does not have.

Hemp Legalization in the USA

The passing of the Farm Bill in the U.S. has helped remove restrictions on the cultivation, possession, distribution, or selling of hemp products. Hemp and its products are legal, provided it complies with state regulations. The THC level must not be above 0.3%, and a licensed cultivator or farmer must only cultivate it.

The State of Hemp Legalization in Europe

The EU (European Union) has a guideline on the use of cannabis plants. It permits products that have less than 0.2% of THC. Different countries have different laws on the same, as we will see in a short while.


Using hemp products such as CBD oil in Germany is legal. Patients who require hemp products, especially CBD oil, are encouraged to get a marijuana card from the doctor. The doctor then goes on to prescribe the medication.


Italy was one of the largest producers of hemp before world-war II. The country then banned the growing of hemp altogether. The country had to wait till 2017, when the Government issued a directive to lift the ban. The government said that one could grow hemp provided it does not contain a THC level of 0.2%. CBD oil is legal, provided it has a THC level of not more than 0.6%.


The country produces hemp primarily for hemp paper. The government also allows the use of hemp for commercial purposes only. The country banned medicinal products of the plant, such as CBD oil regardless of the THC content.

United Kingdom

Cannabis, which includes hemp, remains illegal in the U.K. The government has made some considerations concerning the medicinal value of hemp, but it remains illegal. The public, however, is agitating for the legalization of hemp.


Sweden has one of the most restrictive laws on hemp. The country considers any cannabis product illegal. This might change a little since the country’s medical agency is researching to gauge the health benefits of hemp, especially CBD oils.

Countries such as Greece, the Czech Republic, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Norway, and the Netherlands have all legalized the use of hemp with a few restrictions unique to the individual countries.

Hemp Legalization in Asia

Asia, in general, has very tough laws concerning cannabis products.


In this country, you can be imprisoned for about 7-10 years if you are found with the cannabis plant. It is, however, legal to have CBD oils provided it has a THC level of 0%.


Another country with the most brutal drug enforcement policies in China. One requires permission from the police to grow hemp to ascertain that one does not increase cannabis plant that has THC levels above the recommended levels. Hemp seeds and CBD oils are usually used in the cosmetics industry in the country.

South Korea

The use of hemp is legal, but it is restricted to medicinal use only.


The country legalized CBD oil from the list of narcotics provided it has THC levels of 0.01%.


This is a country with very drug policies, but the Ministry of Health is still working on hemp products if they can be used for medical purposes.


In India, growing hemp is legal, provided one follows the guidelines. The medicinal use of hemp products is also permitted.

Legalization in Latin America

Many countries around Latin America have relaxed their laws regarding the use of cannabis plants.


According to the October 31st, 2018 Supreme Court ruling, the country legalized cultivation, possession, distribution of hemp and hemp products. The law particularly emphasizes the use of CBD oil for the treatment of terminal illnesses such as cancer.


The country has been known for its hard stance on cannabis plants. This, however, changed in 2014 when the government relaxed its laws to allow the importation of hemp products, such as CBD oil, to help in the treatment of terminal illnesses.


This tiny Latin American country of just 3.5 million people became the first country in this region to legalize cannabis plants. This involves the use of hemp as well as the use of marijuana for both medicinal, industrial, and recreational purposes.

Hemp Legalization in Africa


The country is in the advanced stage of legalizing the growing of hemp. The government mainly wants the farmers to grow it for export to substitute tobacco which has been the country’s leading export. Measures are being implemented so that farmers may apply for licenses to grow hemp.

Other countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Swaziland, Ghana, and Lesotho have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, so it is just a matter of time before they legalize the growing of hemp and embrace its potential.


In conclusion, it is a matter of when and not if before the hemp industry sputters fully into life, given the recent waves of revolution happening worldwide. It is a billion-dollar industry that waits to be exploited as a result of its numerous advantage. Well, I look forward to a day that I will drink hemp tea and wear a hemp sweater to work while driving a car made from hemp! That’s how versatile and suitable hemp is…think about it.