site.btaBill Allowing Industrial Hemp Processing Rejected

Bill Allowing Industrial Hemp Processing Rejected
Bill Allowing Industrial Hemp Processing Rejected
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

In a first-reading procedure on Wednesday, the National Assembly defeated a bill to amend and supplement the Control of Narcotic Substances and Precursors Act moved by MP Rosen Kosturkov of Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB). The bill was supported by 49 members of CC-DB. Another 81 MPs voted against, and 31 abstained from voting.

The changes were aimed to provide a possibility to process industrial hemp in Bulgaria in addition to growing the plant. It would make it legal for plants of the hemp family (cannabis), intended for making products without a psychoactive effect, to be processed by permission of the minister of agriculture.

The ministries of agriculture and health are opposed to legalizing the use of hemp. The Agriculture Ministry noted that farmers would not be entitled to receive aid if the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in the hemp they grew did not meet the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, which bans the use of hemp seed with THC content exceeding 0.3% by weight.

The Customs Agency described as unacceptable the idea to introduce a THC content limit of 1%, under which hemp would not be categorized as a narcotic substance. It argued that the change would eliminate control over the retail sale and smoking of hemp and its derivatives with THC content below that limit.

The agency noted the already insufficient control and the lack of laboratory capacity to test narcotic substances, and pointed to the absence of financial resources to increase that capacity. It described the draft amendments as an attempt at covert legalization of hemp (marijuana) and its products, and insisted that the bill should be put to expert and public discussion at the National Council on Narcotic Substances, because it would entail a radical shift in the policy of fighting narcotics.

/RY/

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By 12:30 on 18.06.2024 Today`s news

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