Our European Cousins

Hi there!! Now I am not one to say I told you so, but I told you so. The holiday season is here, like right here, right now and right up in our faces. This year has been confounding on many levels. One of the weirdest levels though is the passage of time. We can all uniformly agree that 2021 has quite simply flown by. We are not sure how that works exactly but there it is. Soon we will be heading towards the big reset that is December 31st and then we will see what 2022 has in store for us. For now though we are going to continue our ongoing dialogue about the wonderful world of Cannabis.

Our Cousins Overseas

Last week we continued our conversation about the relative chaos that currently plagues the cannabis industry. Change is in the air but the regulations are still a chaotic jumbled mess. Its not only North America either. Its pretty much a global event.

We were in Prague 2 weeks ago for the world renowned Cannafest that takes place there annually. It was a great show. Not a lot of attendees or exhibitors for obvious reasons. It was a chance for us to catch up with old friends and business partners. We made some new friends and business contacts.But more importantly we were able to tap into the trade and regulatory gossip regarding the European Cannabis Industry and our place in it.

The Old Country

Prague is a beautiful city, one of the crown jewels of Europe and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is located in the Czech Republic which is smack dab in the center of Europe. It is the gateway between Eastern and Western Europe and is the prefect place to get the vibe for what is going on in the EU world of cannabis.

The Czechs themselves have a long a rich historical relationship with cannabis. It was traditionally grown for industrial purposes. It was used for everything from cloth for clothes rain-gear and sacks, to grain for flour and animal feed, to thatching for roofs. The Czechs also have a rich culture in herbal medicine in which cannabis played a big role, mainly in the form of teas and salves. They even have a legitimate castle about 30km outside of Prague called, wait for it, Cannabis Castle. No lie.

EU Cannabis

Its not just the Czechs either, many of the countries in Europe have a historical relationship with cannabis and technical hemp has been grown there for years. The main producers/growers are France, Lithuania and Italy. among others. The European Commission (the EU equivalent of the US federal government) has declared hemp to be a major pillar in its European Green Deal due to its ability to sink carbon (15 metric tonnes per hectare per grow cycle) and clean and revitalize the soil that is grown in. Cannabis also promotes biodiversity amongst plant and animal life.

Due to the labor intensive nature of growing, harvesting and processing cannabis products the industry provides employment opportunities galore. Due to the fact that it is an agricultural product it can lead to the reduction of unemployment in notoriously depressed rural areas. In short, the Europeans are embracing cannabis as a part of a greener and more sustainable future.

But What About the Regulations?

So the EU is totally embracing cannabis, that must mean the regulations are clean and clear and very user friendly. Right? Wrong. The EU has fallen prey to the same problems that we face in the US. The federal regulations are fairly clear, hemp is acceptable as long as the plants themselves contain less than 0.2% THC. This by proxy carries over to CBD products that have been extracted from the resin of hemp plants. So CBD products are generally legal as long as they have less than 0.2% THC. Theoretically.

Every country however has its own rules and regulations which makes it very difficult to know what is going on from one day to the next. Or from one country to the next. Or, as is the case in Germany, from one city to the next. The EU and the European Commission continue to look to Cannabis as a fundamental tool for sustainable development. There is still a great deal of work to be done in terms of the regulations.

Join us next week when we get into the details of how the combined efforts of the Europeans and The Americans will lead the world into a brighter bolder and more sustainable future with Cannabis at the vanguard. Until then rock that weekend like you own it and stop by the shop to get your CBD on!!!