17 January 2014 08:48

A bill to legalise industrial hemp production is to be submitted to the House for approval, following a decision by the Anti-drugs Council.
This decision was included in a letter to parliament by Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis.
He also indicated that there is a prospect to subsidise cultivation of industrial hemp in Cyprus by the EU.
The minister was asked by Green party MP George Perdikis, to inform parliament as to whether the state is willing to follow the example of other countries who allowed controlled cultivation of cannabis to produce medicine, cosmetics and other useful raw materials.
Perdikis noted that in Cyprus the weather conditions are ideal for growing cannabis plants and said that this is also one of the reasons that it was cultivated in the past.
Kouyialis told the House that the Agriculture Ministry is awaiting the amendment of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, as was recently decided by the Anti-drugs Council, in order for it to comply with EU laws.
"With this amendment, which will be submitted to the House for approval, cultivation of industrial hemp, containing the psychoactive substance delta - 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (which causes euphoria) and not exceeding 0.2% in net weight, will be allowed," said Kouyialis.
"The limit will be set by EU laws in order to be able to register varieties of Cannabis Sativa which will be cultivated in the common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species so that their cultivation can be subsidised."
He added that in order to get funding for growing cannabis in Cyprus, specific varieties approved by the EU need to be cultivated and a control system established by EU legislation needs to be in place.  
"Before the ministry includes industrial hemp in the catalogue of selected crops eligible for the Single Area Payment System (SAPS), it will first examine the economic sustainability of farming taking into consideration the specific conditions of Cyprus."  


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