President Donald Trump signed into law the Farm Bill in 2018. The good news about it is that he made growing and possession of hemp legal throughout the U.S. For a long time, hemp has been judged wrongly and unfairly just because it is related to marijuana. A revolution in hemp legalization is sweeping the world as people notice the various benefits of hemp. There is still a disparity in the laws all over the world regarding possession, cultivation, distribution or even use of hemp.
Hemp vs marijuana
Before we talk about the legal status of hemp all over the world, first 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 mostly used for manufacturing purposes, 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% only of Tetrahydrocannabinol while marijuana contains a high of 30% of the same substance. This is the reason 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 the state regulations. The THC level must not be above 0.3% and it must only be cultivated by a licensed cultivator or farmer.
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 are going to see in a short while.
The use of hemp products such as the CBD oil in Germany is legal. Patients who require hemp products especially the 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 completely. 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 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 mostly for hemp paper. The country also allows the use of hemp for commercial purposes only. The country banned medicinal products of the plant such as the CBD oil regardless of the THC content.
Cannabis, which includes hemp, remains illegal in the U.K. The government has made some considerations concerning the medicinal value of hemp but it still 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 bit since the country’s medical agency is researching to gauge the health benefits of hemp especially the CBD oils.
Countries such as Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Norway, and the Netherlands have all legalized the use of hemp with a few restrictions which are 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 a period of about 7-10 years in prison 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 toughest drug enforcement policies is China. One requires permission from the police to grow hemp so as to ascertain that one does not grow 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.
The use of hemp is legal but it is only restricted to medicinal use only.
The country legalized CBD oil from the list of narcotics provided that 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 provided. The medicinal use of hemp products is also legal.
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 country relaxed its laws to allow the importation of hemp products such as CBD oil to help in the treatment of terminal illnesses.
This small Latin American country of just 3.5 million people became the first country in this region to legalize the use of 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 country mainly wants the farmers to grow it for export to substitute tobacco which has been the country’s leading export. Measures are being put in place so that farmers may apply for the 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 all over the world. 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, wear a hemp sweater to work while driving a car made from hemp! That’s how versatile and good hemp is…think about it.