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Germany Allows Hemp Cultivation


December 1995

The German government has announced it will allow farmers to grow industrial hemp (Stephen Kinzer, "Germany Lifting Ban on Hemp Growing, But Not for Marijuana," New York Times, November 12, 1995, p. 13).

"German farmers should be able to take advantage of the market potential for the hemp plant, which has many uses in industry and may also be a source of energy," said Horst Seehofer, the German minister of health. "We now have strains of hemp which contain such small amounts of the drug THC that they cannot be used for drug production. The principal argument against a continuing ban on hemp cultivation is therefore no longer valid."

The Parliament and various government departments collaborated on the new regulations for cultivation of industrial hemp. All crops must contain levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, under 0.3 percent. Farmers would be required to apply for permits and would be subject to periodic inspections of their crops.

Seehofer said industrial hemp is already grown in France, Spain, Britain, and Eastern Europe. One of the main reasons for lifting the ban was to allow German farmers to compete in the international market for hemp and hemp products, he said.