Outdated restrictions – that prevent hemp farmers from processing and extracting CBD from the leaves and flowers of hemp – are excluding British farmers from participating in the rapidly-growing CBD market and is leaving the UK reliant on imports.
This is according to Alastair Moore, co-founder and Director of Hanway Associates. The company is supporting the Pleasant Lands campaign to reform the regulations and recently presented the issues facing the industry at Agri-TechE’s well-attended ‘Farmer to Pharma’, a teaser for a bigger event to come soon.
Pleasant Lands campaign aims to reform regulations
Alastair explains that a new campaign ‘Pleasant Lands’ has been launched that aims to push for reforms to the hemp regulations and unlock this opportunity for UK farmers and small businesses. It is led by Volteface, a drug policy not for profit, and is supported by Hanway Associates.
“The reforms would unlock the economic potential of CBD production for UK farmers – as they currently have to destroy the CBD containing flowers of the plant when they harvest the fibres.
“We think that many of the Agri TechE members could stand to benefit from the reforms.”
Hemp is a versatile, environmentally beneficial and high value crop that should be making a significant contribution to the UK economy. However, it remains classified as a niche crop – with UK cultivation estimated at only 800 hectares annually.
Creating a new UK industry
Pleasant Lands has been launched to campaign to allow the extraction of CBD from UK hemp, and wholesale of the crop for this purpose. This reform would raise crop value, boost cultivation and improve the environment, whilst also creating a new UK industry.
YouGov polling has shown that there is overwhelming support for this policy, with three quarters of respondents agreeing that UK hemp farmers should have the freedom to process the flowers and leaves of hemp crops grown in the UK to supply CBD.
The campaign will raise awareness of this issue and produce a report, due for release in summer, that will outline to the government: how the current licensing framework disadvantages British hemp farmers, the economic and environmental benefits of allowing CBD extraction from hemp, a legal pathway to reform and recommendations for future licensing regimes.
To inform this work, Volteface has assembled strategic partnerships with the leading experts in hemp regulation and extraction:
- Gary Grant: Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Licensing and barrister at Francis Taylor Building
- Robert Jappie: Specialist in Cannabis Law & Regulation and Partner at Ince
- Dr Henry Fisher: Chief Scientific Advisor at Hanway Associates
Volteface is committed to drawing on the experiences of British hemp farmers and this is a call for stakeholders to join the campaign’s coalition.
Liz McCulloch, Director of Policy at Volteface, said: “ With the UK on the brink of deep recession , Volteface will be presenting the government with a primed policy solution that will drive up economic growth and jobs and support green recovery.”
For more information about how to support Pleasant Lands, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Farmer to Pharma event
Agri-TechE plans to run its Farmer to Pharma event in the near future – if this is of interest do register for more information.