An amendment that came into effect on January 5 places strict restrictions on hemp production in Portugal and puts the country’s nascent industry at risk. Different stakeholders are now stepping up to demonstrate the illegality of the process.
Humberto Nogueira, vice-president of the Portuguese Industrial Hemp Trade Association (ACCIP), said that a number of provisions appear to be specifically concerned with ending the hemp flower trade.
The most alarming rule, according to him, is the one that prohibits the transport of hemp flowers from the farm where they are grown – which amounts to banning the trade in one of the plant’s most valuable components.
“There is no legal basis to limit trade in the entire hemp plant,” Humberto Nogueira said of the restriction. “At the same time, it limits the profitability of producers and farmers, which translates into a decrease in hired labor and fixed and seasonal jobs. “
The amendment also bans the cultivation of hemp indoors and in greenhouses, requires growers to establish at least 0.5 hectares, and sets restrictions on the use and handling of cultured seeds, all of which are a deterrent. for hemp farmers and processors, said Humberto Nogueira.
The amendment does not provide a legal basis to interfere with the farming practices of hemp, which is a legal, certified and subsidized agricultural crop in the European Union (EU), ACCIP Vice-President specifically suggesting that the rule on the minimum area for growing hemp overrides a general rule of the Institute for the Financing of Agriculture and Fisheries (IFAP) which sets 100 square meters as the minimum for standard crops.
“The requirement of a minimum area of 0.5 hectares to obtain permission to cultivate industrial hemp is a limiting factor for thousands of small farmers in Portugal”, nor does the amendment provide any justification for them. sanctions related to non-compliance with this provision, according to Humberto Nogueira.
“In general, there is clearly in the new ordinance an intention to completely eliminate the chances of producers to obtain profitability with the hemp flower, regardless of the purpose that the buyer of the harvest will give to the product”, he said. declared Nogueira.