Italy has put in place a THC limit for food made from hemp grain, providing clarity for producers hoping to take their products to market
The Italian ministry of health set the levels at:
- Two milligrams per kilogram for flour, seeds and supplements derived from hemp seed (grain)
- Five milligrams per kilogram for oil derived from hemp seed.
The restrictions apply to hemp food derived from the plant’s grain only but not CBD-infused products.
The new hemp decree also states that:
- Toxin sampling must be carried out according to a set of EU testing rules established in 2006
- THC sampling will follow EU testing rules in place since 2016.
The Italian National Confederation of Independent Farmers welcomed the decision saying that it:
“Finally gives answers to the hundreds of farms that have invested in the cultivation of hemp.
“The long-awaited publication clarifies a sector that in recent years has seen a real boom.”
The legislation comes the same day as the release of an European Food Safety Authority report that examined THC levels in different categories of hemp food from across the EU, including Italy.
The study showed that people who eat a large amount of hemp food could find their THC levels elevated which may affect the central nervous system and increase heart rates.
Italian hemp production has risen from from 988 acres in 2013 to 9,884 acres in 2018.
Europe has seen a dramatic rise in the amount of hemp grown, with more than 108,000 acres produced in 2017, according to the European Industrial Hemp Association.
In 2018, the European Commission classified all hemp extracts and supplements containing cannabinoids as novel foods.
Germany became the first EU country to enforce the regulations in November last year.