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THC in high street products to increase

thc oil

The amount of THC in cannabis products sold on the high street is set to increase following a decision of the House plenum on Thursday.

The session unanimously passed a bill amending industrial hemp production and trade law, aiming to align it with the provisions of European regulations.

The amendment replaces the definition of ‘industrial hemp’, with the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content to be increased from 0.2 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Industrial hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that contains no more than 0.3 per cent concentration (on a dry weight basis) of the psychoactive compound delta-9-THC.

The bill includes retroactive effect from December 7, 2021, the date on which the relevant European regulation came into force.

During the session discussing the bill, a representative from the agriculture ministry reported that in cases where an excess of the permissible tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limit was identified in industrial hemp, all necessary measures were taken, and the crops in question were destroyed.

It was also noted that the State Laboratory has been conducting analyses since 2016 to assess THC content.

Since 2016, 47 samples have been analysed, with the majority within the legal limit. However, 18 samples exceeded the limit, potentially attributed to the country’s weather conditions, which can affect the amount of THC found in them.

Before the bill passed, THC above 0.2 per cent was illegal in Cyprus but higher doses could be prescribed to patients dealing with serious issues such as cancer, chronic pain and other problems.

However, all medical prescriptions need to be signed off by the health minister, a provision that will be extended even with the higher THC percentage.

THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are both substances found in cannabis plants. Shops selling products featuring THC and CBD in Cyprus need to have a licence from the pharmaceutical services.

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