Hemp is a human right – not a drug!
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In July 2020, the European Commission announced that it had taken the preliminary view that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, when extracted from “cannabis”, has to be considered as a substance falling within the scope of the UN Single Convention on drugs and should be qualified as a “narcotic”.
This decision does not appear to be based on the latest scientific research and goes against the EU’s green ambitions as well as the 2019 WHO report, which recommends that cannabis extracts containing up to 0.2% THC not be scheduled as a narcotic drug.
So, what’s behind this decision? It appears to be a political one favouring big pharma and other big industries at the expense of smaller enterprises, such as: EU SMEs, organic farmers, manufacturers of natural hemp- and CBD-based products, businesses in the industrial hemp sector and related industries, as well as the scientific community devoted to natural hemp and CBD research and innovation. Surely, it’s in everyone’s interests to nurture an established and growing industry that could provide thousands of European jobs in rural areas?
Cannabidiol would stay on the market but only in its synthetic form, produced via polluting chemical manufacturing. Authorizing synthetic, but not natural extracts, is a nonsense from a scientific and environmental point of view. In fact, the final CBD product obtained from the chemical process is the same as the natural CBD extract. Moreover, the chemical processes that are carried out require energy and do not store carbon.
Promoting synthetic over natural extracts will deprive farmers and food business operators from a market opportunity that is bound to generate an important revenue in these times of crisis.
The Commission’s decision will not only affect the livelihood of natural CBD businesses and the industrial hemp sector, it will also impact the hundreds of thousands of Europeans who prefer to buy safe and natural hemp- and CBD-based goods, such as nutritional supplements, skin care and food and drink products. In fact, EU consumers are expected to spend an estimated €8.3 billion on CBD products in 2020.
So many hemp and CBD food-grade product consumers tend to take these products as part of their daily regimen to improve their overall health and wellbeing. We, at Hemp for Humanity, don't think these products should be restricted, and feel that taking away people’s access to safe and natural products such as these is an infringement on human rights.
Right now, the Commission’s decision is a “preliminary conclusion” and has so far suspended applications for CBD inclusion in its Novel Foods (NF) catalogue. If the Preliminary views will be confirmed, CBD will be banned in all EU.
According to Article 3 of the NF Regulation, a novel food is a food that has not been consumed up to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997. However, evidence shows that humans have been consuming hemp and related products for centuries, which means that CBD products are not novel foods – and certainly not narcotic drugs – and are in fact a traditional ‘superfood’ that has been consumed by mankind since milenia.
We, at Hemp for Humanity, believe that hemp is a human right and not something that should be bound by nonsensical legislation to the benefit of large corporates, and to the detriment of smaller businesses and consumers of hemp products.
Our goal is to get the European Commission to reverse their decision on CBD so companies and consumers alike can continue produce, sell and buy safe and natural hemp- and CBD-based products without reproach.
Together with the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), we have launched this online petition as part of our efforts to fight for hemp. By signing this petition, you will help us send a strong message to the European Commission. Hemp is a human right – not a drug!
After you have signed the petition, we encourage you to share it with your network so others can choose to be involved. Individual acts can ripple out into a powerful movement. We can all make a difference. Thank you for your help and support.
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