The government of Ecuador has set the maximum Delta 9 THC level for industrial hemp at a full 1%, following the lead of Uruguay, Switzerland, and Australia.
The limit was set in policy changes outlined during a legislative session this week that legalized industrial hemp by removing it from the Ecuadorian criminal code. The 1% Delta 9 THC limit is based on dry weight. The reformed criminal code states clearly that hemp under that limit is no longer a prohibited crop, and that regulation of THC levels is the responsibility of the National Agrarian Authority.
“Many politicians are aware of the economic potential that hemp represents in their different areas,” Oscar Farith Pino Herrera, founder of NGO Cáñamo Industrial Ecuador, told Hemp Today. “However there is still a struggle against economic interests of conservative elites who do not want it to be approved.”
Ecuador approved a law in 2015 that decriminalized cannabis consumption. However, the lack of clarity has created confusion among the public as well as authorities surrounding CBD and other compounds.
Setting the 1% benchmark, Ecuador has put itself in the legal forefront on a global stage. In most parts of the world, the Delta 9 THC limit for industrial hemp is 0.3%, while European nations have an even stricter 0.2% Delta 9 THC limit, which lawmakers on the continent are working to change. In North America, the limit is 0.3% Delta 9 THC.
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It has also been approved that industrial hemp is excluded from the lists of scheduled substances subject to control, which opens a new door to the future of the production of Cáñamo Industrial in Ecuador.
There were 83 votes that gave way to this modification of the Organic Integral Criminal Code (COIP), while 23 were against. In addition, there was a blank vote and 23 abstentions.