A Major Win for the Hemp Industry: Europe’s Shift in Cannabis Regulation

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The Victory of the European Industrial Hemp Association

Three years ago, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) embarked on a mission to reclassify cannabis leaves as a traditional food.

Now, they celebrate a significant triumph. The European Commission has confirmed that it no longer considers the larger ‘fan’ leaves of the cannabis plant as a Novel Food, marking a pivotal moment in the European hemp food market.

Understanding the Novel Food Catalogue Update

The Novel Food catalogue for cannabis has been updated to reflect this change. The new entry reads:

“A history of consumption in the EU has also been demonstrated for the water infusion of hemp leaves (when not accompanied by the flowering and fruiting tops) consumed as such or as part of herbal infusions. Such use(s) is(are) therefore not novel.”

This 180-degree change in thinking is really promising news for the hemp food industry in Europe.

The Impact on Hemp-Infused Tea and Related Products

The primary beneficiaries of this ruling on ‘fan’ leaves are those involved in the hemp-infused tea industry and related products.

EIHA President Daniel Kruse hailed this as a “major achievement for our sector,” emphasizing the importance of collective industry effort in normalizing the hemp plant and its products.

The Ongoing Fight for Hemp Extracts

Despite this victory, the battle is far from over. EIHA has launched a bid to have natural, hemp-extract products classified as a traditional food under Article 4 of the EC’s Novel Food regulations.

However, companies pursuing applications for synthetic CBD and isolate products, as well as full-spectrum extracts, will still have to navigate the Novel Food process.

The Historical Significance of Hemp Leaves

According to EIHA, before 1997, hemp leaves were commonly used as a food source, especially in the form of aqueous infusions.

This new classification is consistent with the 1961 Single Convention, which specifically excludes hemp leaves from its purview.

The Future of THC Content in Hemp Seeds

Despite the organization’s success, EIHA is still waiting for the European Commission to issue a ruling on the issue of THC levels in hemp seeds.

The group is hoping for a fruitful exchange of ideas that will lead to a better understanding of the measurement uncertainty surrounding THC in hemp seed products.

Conclusion: A Brighter Future for Hemp in Europe


Hemp’s future looks brighter thanks to new cannabis regulations in Europe.

They dispel concerns about the legitimacy of hemp seed products and create demand for hemp leaf infusions and tea.

This is a huge step forward for the normalisation of the hemp plant and its products across Europe, and it guarantees increased economic revenue for farmers and business owners.

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