The European Commission is to amend current regulation to reflect new maximum levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC) in hemp seed and hemp oil which have been established EU-wide, in what the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) calls ‘an end to internal market fragmentation’.

Following a review by the Standing Committee for Foodstuffs, the EC will revise the existing Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 concerning acceptable maximum levels of Delta-9-THC in hemp seeds and products derived from them. The amendment is expected to reflect a new maximum level of 3.0mg/kg for dry products (flour, seeds, snacks, proteins) and 7.5mg/kg for hemp seed oil.

This initiative finally puts an end to the internal market fragmentation

Prior to the regulatory update, there was no EU-wide maximum limit – only non-legally binding guidelines from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). With no common values up until this point, countries were free do adopt whichever values they chose. Lorenza Romanese, EIHA managing director, says this made it ‘impossible for operators to trade’.

Now, says the EIHA, all Member States will have to follow common values which will ensure consistency across the bloc, create a more stable, attractive market for investment and benefit food businesses which will have a ‘clear framework’ to work within, rather than ‘27 different approaches’.

“This initiative finally puts an end to the internal market fragmentation and will likely give a further boost to investment in the sector,” says the EIHA, calling the legislation ‘long awaited’.