Hemp farmers in Portugal may soon face a quartet of regulators to inspect and verify their crops, according to local media.
Citing a draft amendment to Portugal’s medical cannabis legislation, the Lusa news agency reported on Tuesday that the cultivation of EU-certified industrial hemp could soon be regulated by four state agencies:
- The Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Institute.
- The Judiciary Police.
- The National Republican Guard.
- The Public Security Police.
Under the draft regulation, authorization to grow industrial hemp must be requested from Portugal’s phytosanitory authorities at the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary Affairs (DGAV).
According to the Lusa report, the application fee for hemp cultivation would be 50 euros, plus the cost of laboratory tests where necessary.
Portugal’s CannaCasa hemp association has not seen the draft amendment, nor was it contacted by authorities to provide an opinion on its contents, João Costa, CannaCasa vice president, told Hemp Industry Daily.
Portugal’s hemp farmers have been in limbo for more than a year due to a single sentence in the country’s new medical cannabis law that created ambiguity about which authorities were responsible for controlling hemp cultivation.
The DGAV ceased inspecting hemp seeds after the medical cannabis law took effect in 2018. The inspections had been verifying that varieties were EU-certified.
Without inspections, farmers had no way of proving to potential buyers that they used certified seeds, Costa said.
“We as an association are happy that finally hemp will be regulated in Portugal,” Costa said.