Is Hemp Legal?
The answer is simply and truly YES. There is nothing about hemp that is illegal. We do not sell any illegal products. Shipping you the hemp we sell is completely allowed. There are no laws in the US or Canada that make possession of hemp illegal, this includes the sterilized seed, hemp seed oil, hemp seed flour, hemp seed cake, hulled hemp seeds, hemp clothing, hemp fabrics, hemp fuel or any other product made from INDUSTRIAL HEMP.
We grow and supply seed derivative products from one of the many strains of hemp that produce little or no THC, we measure it at 0.00% THC. There are also strains of Cannabis Sativa that produce high levels of THC. These strains would be considered Marijuana. There is nothing similar between marijuana and hemp. They may as well be different plants as they are grown differently, processed differently, are made from different parts of the plant and have grown so far apart genetically that they are, for all intents and purposes, completely different plants.
Will I test positive for THC if I eat your hemp products?
The subject of drug tests have come up many times in the past and we are of two minds on the subject of positive results. Health Canada, which is the governmental body that regulates the hemp industry in Canada, states that we cannot sell a hemp oil product that contains more than 10 parts per million THC. Therefore the oil we sell we can guarantee contains less than 10 PPM THC. We actually test to levels of 4 PPM to be sure that we do not sell products with measurable levels of THC and our oil has consistently tested with non-detectable levels at 4 PPM.
For arguments sake, we’ll say that the oil you ingest has a THC level of 1 PPM THC (though the actual levels are probably a lot lower). It would then become something probably around the 1 part per billion in your body (we presume). If the level of accuracy of the drug test allows for concentrations in the parts per trillion range, you might test positive, though you could have picked up that kind of concentration touching someone’s hand that had traces of THC and then putting your fingers in your mouth.
We then cannot guarantee that if your drug test is able to detect levels in the parts per trillion that you would not test positive because we only guarantee that our oil is less than 10 PPM. Do we think this is possible, yes we do, it is possible to detect parts per trillion THC in blood. Do we think this is likely, no we don’t, but it is up to you to decide.
We have heard that NY police have been told not to eat poppy seed bagels because it is causing false positives for opiates in drug tests. We don’t know if this is true or not, but if there are such severe, draconian testing where you work, we do not recommend that you consume hemp products and risk losing your job.
On another note, we have done tests with an old distributor of ours who got his paralegal secretary to consume 3 pounds of hemp seeds and then go for a drug test. She tested negative for THC in her blood. Sometimes hemp oil tests higher than the hemp seed because it is a concentrated version of the seed but with our rigorous testing, we are confident that our oils have low enough percentages of THC as to not cause a false positive with respect to drug tests. We cannot, in anyway, guarantee this and assume no liability.
Is hemp legal in the US and Canada, yes it is, we produce a 0.00% THC version of the plant which complies with all laws.
Current UK Hemp Legislation and What it Means for the Industry
By Emily Ledger
Last month, Volteface launched its most recent reform campaign, to allow British hemp farmers to benefit from the ever-growing CBD market. Most people, who have never looked into cultivating hemp, probably don’t realise the severity of the restrictions placed on the industry. So, we are outlining current UK hemp legislation and what this means to the industry.
Hemp has been cultivated in the UK for centuries – Henry VII even introduced a law that meant all farmers had to dedicate a portion of their land to the crop. However, the reputation of the crop has been tainted by its association with its high-THC cousin, ‘marijuana’.
Since cannabis (all genus and strains) was made illegal in the UK, hemp cultivation has seen a huge decline, as the crop became increasingly controlled. Now, it is considered to not be financially viable by many British farmers.
It is legal to grow hemp in the UK, but…
First of all, hemp cultivation is legal in the UK – which is great – but there are a lot of catches. The first hurdle for the aspiring hemp farmer is to acquire a license from the Home Office. This license permits the holder to grow the ‘*controlled substance’ under certain conditions.
*Although hemp contains extremely small amounts of THC, it is categorised as ‘Cannabis’, which is a controlled substance under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. More on this later…
New hemp cultivation licenses cost £580, whereas a license renewal costs £326. In order to gain this license, the location and size of the proposed farm and the seed type need to be approved. Only seeds that have been EU-approved and contain less than 0.2%THC will be allowed to be planted. In addition, a Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) must be undertaken to check for eligibility.
So, what are the conditions?
Once a license has been approved, you might think that you are free to get on with growing your hemp crop and processing it for a huge number of legal and popular products. Well, not quite.
Hemp can be used for manufacturing a hugely diverse catalog of products. The seeds can be used to make hemp seed oil which is a popular ingredient in the beauty industry. The stalk can be used to make eco-friendly construction materials, bioplastics, and paper. However, the most valuable hemp-derived product is CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in hemp plants. The production, sale, and use of CBD products are legal in the UK, yet the process of extracting the compound from the plant is not.
This is where things get complicated…
You have your license, your hemp variety has been approved, and your – now fully-grown – crop is legal. Want to use some seeds for hemp seed oil? The stalk for construction materials? Great! But what to do with those high-CBD leaves and flowers? Well, the only thing you’re allowed to do – destroy them.
That’s right – once the leaves and flowers have been separated from the rest of the plant, they once again become a controlled substance. This is true, regardless of the THC content in these plant components. The leaves and flowers are not permitted – by law – to leave the farm and most be destroyed on-site.
The Contradiction of CBD
CBD extracts are by far the most lucrative product that can be derived from hemp. However, British farmers are continuously locked out of this ever-growing market.
The UK CBD industry has boomed over the last few years – it is estimated that around 10% of the UK population have used CBD products. New businesses have been sprouting up like daisies, with no choice but to source CBD from outside the UK. This arrangement leaves both hemp farmers and the UK economy, out of pocket.
Reform for Change
There have been increasing calls for reform to UK hemp legislation in recent years, with both dedicated reform groups and the public demanding change. A 2019 YouGov survey found that up to 75% of the UK public believe that hemp farmers should be allowed to process their crops for the CBD industry.
Volteface plans to publish the Pleasant Lands report this August to present the government with valuable information about the industry. The report will draw on the expertise of a number of industry experts. It is hoped that the campaign will gain widespread support from the public and policymakers.
As calls for legislation reform get louder, we are outlining the current UK hemp legislation and what this means to the industry.