From Iceland — Health Minister Approves Import Of Seeds For Industrial Hemp

Health Minister Approves Import Of Seeds For Industrial Hemp

Published April 20, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

Fréttablaðið reports that Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir has changed regulations regarding Iceland’s laws on intoxicating and addictive substances to allow for the Icelandic Medicines Agency (IMA) to import seeds for the purposes of growing industrial hemp.

The regulation specifies the condition that the seeds may not be capable of growing plants which contain more than 0.2% THC, the compound in cannabis that induces intoxication.

There has been growing interest in cultivating industrial hemp in Iceland, as has long been the case across Europe. Industrial hemp, a strain of cannabis sativa with very little THC in it, is grown specifically for the strong and durable fibres they produce, or for their seeds, which are sold in many countries, including Iceland, for their nutritional value.

As reported, a small farm in northeast Iceland has been trying to cultivate industrial hemp, but have had a difficult time convincing the IMA that they are not growing drugs.

The farm believed they were well within their rights to import the seeds and cultivate the plants after receiving confirmation from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, and because the IMA had previously ruled that hemp seeds do not fall under Iceland’s drug laws.

However, last November police visited the farm at the behest of the IMA. The farmers were not informed ahead of time that the police would be visiting, nor did the IMA ask the farmers for any additional information on the plants they were cultivating. Police took samples, and tested them. After finding that the samples contained no measurable levels of THC, the police dropped the case last March.

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