Hemp advocacy groups are working with the UN to officially approve hemp and all derived products from hemp to open up the global market for the crop. A total of 11 hemp groups signed a letter outlining their argument that hemp is in no way a drug and should be legal.
The letter uses both the Single Convention of 1961 and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. These conventions already state that the cultivation of cannabis plants is allowed as long as they do not contain high amounts of THC. Industrial hemp is deemed ok for the cultivation of fiber and seed. The debate now is whether these two were just examples of industrial hemp products or whther they are the only two acceptable products made from hemp.
The groups involved in the effort so far include:
- The Asia-Pacific CBD Union.
- The Australian Hemp Council.
- The British Hemp Alliance.
- The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.
- The European Industrial Hemp Association.
- The Hokkaido Industrial Hemp Association.
- The Hemp Industries Association.
- The Latin-American Industrial Hemp Association.
- The Mongolian Hemp Association.
- The New Zealand Hemp Industries Association.
- The U.S. National Hemp Association.
The groups are trying to argue that, “industrial hemp is clearly exempted from the scope of the treaties and that its downstream products and derivatives are not and have never been listed in the Schedules of these Conventions.”
The distinction for now, remains a political one, which means that the precedent set now will determine how hemp can be traded internationally for years to come. Many leaders are currently looking to see how individual countries like the U.S. handle hemp.
“I have learned from my discussions with Agricultural leaders around the globe, both from within governments and from farmers, that the world was awaiting passage of hemp legalization from the United States, which will give a clear message that the world’s largest economy is embracing hemp,” Geoff Whaling, Chair of the National Hemp Association, said in a press release. “World leaders now need to come together to ensure that every nation has a level foundation on which to build a hemp economy.”
The goal now is for leaders to come together and create clear rules and guidelines for hemp that will allow this crop to flourish on a global scale.
“It is time that our industry can finally grow, produce and sell according to internationally valid regulations – without constantly encountering new and major obstacles,” Daniel Kruse, President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), also said in the press release. “Our line of arguments is clear: the cultivation of all parts of the hemp plant for industrial purposes is legal. The Single Convention only deals with the illicit farming and trafficking of high-THC cannabis and cannabis resin, not with low-THC cannabis used for commercial purposes.”