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The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview MEDICINAL CANNABIS

https://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/situation-medicinal-cannabis-europe-complete-overview/

Sativex and Bedrocan are now available in many European countries, and several have infrastructure in place to supply patients with medicinal cannabis. So which countries are moving with the times, and which are dragging their heels? Where are medicinal and recreational users most (and least) free to utilize their drug of choice? Let’s take a look at the facts.

While there is plenty of accurate, up-to-date information online about medicinal cannabis in Europe, finding one reliable source to tell you everything you need to know can be an all-but-impossible task. So we’ve collated hundreds of online resources – news reports, analysis by governments and NGOs, and patient perspectives – in order to create a complete overview of the status of medicinal cannabis in Europe.

We have striven for clarity and accuracy in all respects, but we recognise the fact that legislative waters can at times be murky and misinterpretations can be made. Added to this, legislation is changing rapidly, so we’ll be adding updates every three months or more if necessary. Thus, we welcome any comments, feedback, or corrections – and your input will help us to make this a truly interactive resource that will continue to be relevant for many years to come!

Medicinal Cannabis Legality & Availability In Europe

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

This map shows the general state of medicinal cannabis legality and availability in Europe. All countries that have passed medicinal cannabis laws, that have approved whole-plant cannabis or cannabis-based drugs, or that make cannabis/cannabis-based drugs available in some form are marked green.

At first glance, the situation looks relatively good in the majority of European nations. However, we need a little more analysis to really get a clear picture, as medicinal cannabis laws and praxis vary wildly between countries.

Some countries that have passed laws supposedly allowing for the provision of medicinal cannabis do not actually permit anyone to use it; other countries do prescribe certain cannabis derivatives or synthetic cannabinoids, but do not allow whole-plant cannabis, while others have relatively relaxed laws that allow for personal medicinal cultivation, cannabis social clubs that supply medicinal users, and a range of different prescription medications.

Some of the countries marked in green don’t actually have medicinal cannabis laws at all, and haven’t approved any existing cannabis-based drugs, but still make medicinal cannabis or cannabis-based drugs available to certain patients under special access rules. In these countries, the national health authorities usually import the drugs on a strictly-limited, case-by-case basis. Obviously they are not ideal systems, but if laws have been passed or if there are patients receiving cannabis drugs or derivatives in those countries, then they get included in the green section of the map.

If you wish to know more about the cannabis-based drugs that are available in Europe today, please take a look at our post Cannabinoids in medicine – an overview for doctors and professionals, published in March 2016.

Sativex Availability In Europe

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

First, let’s take a look at Sativex availability. Although controversial, Sativex has won considerable success in gaining approval in much of Europe and in many other countries worldwide. The reasons for controversy surrounding Sativex are manifold.

Many activists and patients believe that licensing and regulating Sativex while cannabis itself remains illegal (as is now the case in the majority of Europe) is unfair and discriminatory, particularly given that it is a whole-plant extract and thus is essentially cannabis (unlike synthetic, single-molecule drugs like nabilone and dronabinol, which we will discuss later).

These issues are further compounded by the fact that Sativex is prohibitively expensive and inconsistently available in many countries. In the UK, Sativex is only available on the NHS in Wales. In August 2014, the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) recommended that Sativex could be prescribed on the NHS (meaning that costs would be borne by the health authorities with just a small nominal charge to the patient) in Wales for treating MS-related spasticity.

However, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) did not recommend prescription of Sativex in England in their 2014 MS Clinical Guideline “because it is not a cost effective treatment”.

In April 2011, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC – the Scottish equivalent to NICE) also announced that it was unable to recommend Sativex, as it had not received a marketing authorisation submission from GW Pharmaceuticals. Thus, patients in England and Scotland wishing to obtain Sativex must “go private” and cover all costs themselves.

A similar pricing issue exists in France, where authorities approved Sativex back in 2013, but have yet to agree a sale price with GW Pharmaceuticals’ European distributor, Almirall. Sensi Seeds reported in December 2015 that Sativex was still not available in France, and that there was little likelihood that it would be available in the near future.

In Finland, Denmark and Norway, Sativex is available on a strictly-limited, case-by-case basis, and is prohibitively expensive compared to other forms of medicinal cannabis. However, the situation in Finland has improved significantly over the last few years (since medicinal cannabis laws were passed in 2008); the number of patients receiving medical cannabis in the form of Sativex or Bedrocan products rose from just 12 in 2010 to around 200 in 2014.

In Ireland and Malta, Sativex has technically been approved but never prescribed – in Ireland, pricing issues have delayed the release of Sativex, while in Malta, the sole application received thus far was recently rejected by the health authorities.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ near-monopoly on legal medicinal cannabis allows it to profit significantly, while individuals growing personal quantities of cannabis continue to be criminalised throughout much of Europe. Many individuals that grow cannabis in small quantities intended for personal medicinal use do so as it presents the only truly affordable option. That these individuals continue to be persecuted for reasons that appear to be solely economic is a dire failure on the part of the national and supranational authorities of Europe.

Marinol/Cesamet Availability In Europe

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

Nabilone and dronabinol, marketed as Marinol and Cesamet (or Canemes in some countries), are two single-molecule, synthetic THC analogues that have also gained approval in many European countries. Generally, they are approved for nausea, vomiting and weight loss related to cancer and HIV.

As synthetic, single-molecule drugs, nabilone and dronabinol are of limited effectiveness, and are also associated with more severe side-effects than cannabis itself. Several countries have allowed use of nabilone and dronabinol while continuing to prohibit use of medicinal cannabis itself, such as Denmark, which has approved thousands of applications for Marinol in the last decade but none for Bedrocan.

Dronabinol and nabilone were developed over 30 years ago, and have never been particularly popular with either patients or healthcare professionals. Although they have been prescribed to many more patients than Sativex at this stage, there are clear signs that Sativex is now taking over in terms of availability, acceptability and popularity. This surely represents a step in the right direction, towards recognition of the superior medicinal value of whole-plant cannabis over single-molecule, synthetic therapies.

In Germany, nabilone and dronabinol are both apparently still available on prescription, but since 1991, they have not been available on the open market as finished medicinal products (i.e. they are not pre-packaged and available for purchase from pharmacies).

Interestingly, dronabinol is scheduled under international law, as it is a stereoisomer of THC, whereas nabilone is not scheduled as its molecular structure differs from true cannabinoids substantially. In Iceland, for example, dronabinol is technically banned, but has been exempted and authorized for use in special cases by the Icelandic Medicines Agency. Nabilone is not subject to a ban – but each drug has only been prescribed in a tiny number of cases, under special access rules.

Bedrocan Availability In Europe

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

Countries that permit the use of Bedrocan (or other products from the same manufacturer, i.e. Bediol, Bedrobinol and so on) are much more limited, and in most cases, the medicine can only be imported on a case-by-case basis by the national health authority of the country in question.

As Bedrocan products are whole-plant, herbal cannabis flowers, countries that allow its use would seem to be the more progressive of the European countries with regards to cannabis use. In reality, the situation is a little more complex.

Bedrocan products are considered preferable to Sativex for various reasons, but dissatisfaction among patients remains. In Norway and Finland, for example, Bedrocan products may only be imported on a strict case-by-case basis with approval from the national health authority. They represent a comparatively inexpensive option – in Finland, Sativex reportedly costs €650 for three spray bottles containing 810mg THC and 750mg CBD in total; equivalent total cannabinoids can be obtained from Bedrocan products costing €200 or less.

However, very few individuals actually have access to Bedrocan (in Finland: 123 in 2012, though numbers are likely to have risen since then), and the number of conditions for which it can be prescribed is greatly limited.

Bedrocan in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, Bedrocan became the sole licensed medicinal cannabis producer in 2003, with the implementation of the 2001 law purportedly legalizing cannabis for medicinal use – which also saw the creation of the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis (OMC).

But prior to this, medicinal cannabis (reportedly cheaper and more effective) was available from at least one other supplier (Maripharm BV, a company that is now restricted to making CBD-only products) and utilized by thousands more patients, who were prescribed cannabis by their doctors and obtained their medicine directly from over 1,000 different pharmacies. This situation wasn’t legal, but it was tolerated, and it appears to have been greatly preferable for patients.

In 2001, the OMC was established (according to UN treaty rules, a country must establish an office to oversee medicinal cannabis if it wishes to make it available), and in 2003, the new medicinal policy was implemented. But it may have had the effect of making medicinal cannabis less available to Dutch patients – according to the BSEMC (the Public Interest Foundation for Effective Medical Cannabis), 10,000–15,000 patients used medicinal cannabis each year under the old system compared to just 140 each year between 2003 and 2013.

A study from the University of Utrecht published in 2013 puts the figure considerably higher, at approximately 1,000 per year; we are currently awaiting figures from the OMC itself, and will update as soon as the information becomes available.

Patient concerns regarding Bedrocan products are not limited to availability or cost, however – all Bedrocan products are treated with gamma radiation to ensure pesticides, heavy metals and microorganisms are purged out. This is a requirement of the OMC, but has caused concerns over effectiveness and safety in some patients, and led many to purchase cannabis from coffeeshops in preference to pharmacy products. This video report from the Cannabis News Network goes into great detail on the subject of Bedrocan and medicinal cannabis legislation in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, as Sensi Seeds reported earlier this year, Bedrocan is struggling to provide other European countries with sufficient product. As the sole supplier of medicinal cannabis in Europe, demand for their services is rising rapidly, to the extent that a new production facility was opened in 2015 – but supply bottlenecks continue to occur.

European National Programs For Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation

In a small number of European countries, the national government has taken the stance that state control and regulation of the medicinal cannabis market is the sensible route forward. Ostensibly, these state-run programs have the advantage of offering cannabis to registered patients at a lower rate than currently-available forms.

Presently, the only European nations implementing state-controlled medicinal cannabis production are Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. As already discussed, the Netherlands has awarded the sole license to produce medicinal cannabis to Bedrocan BV. Germany is now discussing plans to implement a similar program, but it is not thought that this will be in effect until at least 2017.

Here, we do not class the UK among countries producing medicinal cannabis, despite GW Pharmaceuticals’ license to grow cannabis and manufacture Sativex, as Sativex is not distributed as whole-plant, herbal cannabis flowers (and is not widely available in the UK).

In the Czech Republic, the logistics company Elkoplast is licensed to produce medicinal cannabis using Bedrocan strains and expertise. According to reports, Elkoplast distributed its first crop of 11 kg in February 2016; the cost of the Elkoplast cannabis is apparently around 100 Koruna (€3.70) per gram (compared to around 300 Koruna/€11 for imported Bedrocan). Elkoplast intends to produce 40 kg this year.

Last year, doctors registered to prescribe medicinal cannabis in the Czech republic (who currently number around 20) supplied cannabis to just 30 patients. It is thought that patients numbers will increase significantly with the implementation of the new system. Medicinal cannabis only became legal in the Czech Republic in 2013, so progress has been comparatively rapid to date.

In Italy, the army recently completed its first crop of cannabis intended for distribution to patients with a doctor’s prescription for medicinal cannabis. The Army plans to grow 100 kg this year – which is reportedly around double the quantity currently imported from the Netherlands, and regional health authorities aim to distribute it for €5–€15 per gram, compared to approximately €40 per gram for Bedrocan.

Interestingly, any doctor in Italy may prescribe medicinal cannabis to a patient – this situation differs dramatically from many other European nations, where cannabis may only be prescribed by specialists such as neurologists and oncologists. Furthermore, numbers of doctors willing to prescribe cannabis appears to be relatively high, and patient interest is rapidly growing.

On the other hand, this latter fact is known partially through the reported high volume of applications to import Bedrocan products made by Italian patients to the Dutch OMC. The Army crop is yet to be distributed, and the process has been subject to several delays thus far. However, Italy is demonstrating a very progressive attitude despite remaining mired in logistical difficulties, and the extent of progress here is highly encouraging.

State Control Of Cannabis May Not Be Ideal
Typically, the element of state control involved in such programs is simply licensing out the right to grow medicinal cannabis to a single producer. This is far from ideal, for various reasons: supply issues such as those experienced by Bedrocan and a lack of competition on price, quality and variety are commonly cited potential problems.

In Italy, state control of the production of cannabis does not exist alongside the right to cultivate personal quantities of cannabis, as is the case in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. It was widely reported in January 2016 that cultivation of medical cannabis had been decriminalised in Italy, but it does not appear that this is entirely accurate.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in January announced a long list of minor reforms, including the lifting of criminal penalties for violations of medical cannabis cultivation rules. However, it appears that this only applies to researchers or individuals “working in the field of medicinal cannabis”, and not to the general public.

Thus, the Italian system has been criticized as just another half-measure, which monopolizes potential profits and deprives patients of choice and anonymity. There are also doubts over whether the amount of cannabis produced by the army will be sufficient to meet patient needs, and as Italy operates on a regional healthcare system, some are concerned that the cost of state-produced cannabis will vary widely between locales. Reportedly, the crop will also be gamma-irradiated, which may raise similar concerns as in the Netherlands.

However, the next few years will continue to see decisive change in Italy. Currently, the Italian Parliament is holding talks on the possibility of implementing further steps towards both medicinal and recreational legalization of cannabis. Talks are still ongoing, and we will update this resource when the results of the discussions become clear.

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

Personal Cultivation Laws In Europe

The decriminalisation of personal cultivation is a very useful metric for establishing the level of tolerance a country holds towards the concept of medicinal cannabis.

Cultivation of cannabis by the general public is illegal in all European countries. However, a handful of nations have decriminalised or depenalised personal cultivation or personal cultivation for medicinal purposes; several other countries have taken steps towards decriminalisation or are in the process of implementing recently-passed laws, and several more have established precedents whereby medicinal growers have avoided criminal charges despite national laws.

Another thing to consider is the fact that many European countries have a disconnect between legislation and practice when it comes to personal possession and cultivation. Many countries operate unofficial tolerance policies that are at odds with their actual legislation; this is extremely difficult to assess due to the fact that these policies are unofficial, meaning that records may not be kept, and also that policies may change at any time without necessarily being backed up by legislation.

Thus, it’s very hard to be 100% accurate on the places where you can easily get away with growing a few plants, and we’ve done our best to clarify the picture with the information that we have available.

Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium are undoubtedly the most tolerant of cannabis cultivation by the public, and generally have legislation in place that confirms or protects the right of the individual to grow a certain number of plants (in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, up to 5 plants, and in Belgium just one plant).

In Spain, there is no legislation that specifies that cannabis cultivation is permitted, but laws that attest to the right to possess and consume any drug in private, and a substantial set of legal precedents that have mounted up over the last 20 years or so. In 1993, the precursor to what would become cannabis social clubs sprang into existence, using the existing laws on drug possession to argue that collective, private cannabis-growing associations should also therefore be legal. After many years of challenging and disrupting the project, authorities eventually ceased their persecution and allowed the operation to proceed unhindered, opening the door to hundreds more clubs.

The UK is also an interesting case. Home-growing of cannabis is very widespread in the UK, and thousands of individuals grow for medicinal purposes. There have been several examples of individuals being treated very lightly or even escaping cultivation charges altogether after demonstrating medical need, while countless others continue to be criminalized across the country.

This discrepancy partly exists due to the uneven prioritisation of cannabis between different regional police forces – indeed, several UK police forces have reportedly implemented unofficial tolerance policies for cannabis growers due to the undoubted need to free up resources to tackle more serious crimes.

Switzerland has had a somewhat patchy record on cultivation rights – due to a legal loophole, Swiss citizens were from 1995-1999 allowed to cultivate “hemp” with no specified maximum THC limit, and even after the law was amended, shops continued to sell cannabis until at least 2005. Now, the law does not support personal cultivation, but reports of personal growers being prosecuted are extremely rare.

Several other countries have made some steps towards decriminalisation, such as removing jail sentences and imposing fines or administrative charges – such as the island nation of Malta, which recently passed laws decriminalising the cultivation of personal quantities of cannabis. However, it is not clear how these new laws will be implemented in reality.

Lastly, Sweden, Germany, and Bulgaria have all established precedents whereby medicinal growers have escaped prosecution.

Cannabis Social Clubs In Europe

The small number of European states that have decriminalised personal cultivation and also permit cannabis social clubs are arguably the most tolerant of all, although no country is without its problems. For the most part, social clubs have sprung up in countries that already had a strong subculture of cannabis use, and serve as a means of ensuring quality, safety and consistency relative to the black market.

It is important to note that cannabis social clubs are not an arbitrary concept by any means. In order to be recognized by ENCOD (the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies, which has played a fundamental role in the creation of social clubs throughout Europe), would-be CSCs must meet various requirements.

The club must be a legally registered association, and therefore accountable to local and national authorities. Furthermore, the ENCOD code of conduct for CSCs sets out five basic principles:

The club only produces cannabis for the personal consumption of its members.
The club is health oriented: in production & elaboration the norms of organic agriculture are adhered too.
The purpose of the club is not to make profit, but to support activism that seeks to bring to an end to cannabis prohibition.
The club is transparent to its members and open to dialogue with authorities.
Furthermore, the club has agreed to accept the mediation of Encod should a conflict arise with one of its members or with another CSC.
If a CSC does not meet these requirements, ENCOD will not recognize the club as a legal, official entity. Despite this, there are many CSCs currently operating (particularly in Spain) without official recognition from ENCOD.

In Spain, the original birthplace of the cannabis social clubs, the situation is complex. The system is generally working well, and cannabis is widely and cheaply available, but the country is not without its problems.

Although clubs are meant to be run on a non-profit basis, the potential to make substantial quantities of money has attracted many would-be entrepreneurs that do not necessarily prioritise patient well-being. Furthermore, contraventions of health and safety regulations and similar petty violations have presented authorities in Barcelona and elsewhere with the opportunity to close down hundreds of venues.

ENCOD currently recognises CSCs in just four countries: two in Belgium, seven in Spain, one in the Netherlands, and one in Slovenia. The Slovenia Cannabis Social Club is officially registered with the local authorities, and interviews suggest that they may be supplying their medical patients with cannabis – but Slovenian law does not yet support medicinal cultivation of cannabis by the public, despite a 2014 law allowing for the supply of medicinal cannabinoids.

Other countries are hard at work setting up the foundations of what will become official CSCs as soon as legislation allows it. These countries include the UK, Austria, France and Germany.

UKCSC.co.uk supplies a long list of “official” UK cannabis social clubs, some of which apparently do supply their members with cannabis – but it is important to note that, as the UK laws do not yet support personal cultivation, these clubs are not offically recognized by ENCOD. However, it is an important and rapidly growing network, which provides much-needed support and information to its members, as well as to the media, the government, and the interested public.

So Which Countries Are Most & Least Tolerant?

The Situation With Medicinal Cannabis In Europe – A Complete Overview

As we see, when we account for all the different variables, many of the countries that supposedly make medicinal cannabis available do not in fact do so, and in fact are no more advanced in practice than the countries that have thus far refused to consider the concept at all.

So we’ve rated all the countries in Europe on a scale of most to least tolerant, with 0 as the least tolerant and 24 as the most.

Unsurprisingly, the countries that are clearly the most favourable for medicinal cannabis in Europe are the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is perhaps the most striking in the alacrity with which it has diverged from its Soviet legacy and embraced modern, progressive drug policies which put it at the forefront of Europe.

These three powerhouses are closely followed by Germany and Italy, which are rapidly making progress, and Belgium, which has an inconsistent attitude to cannabis but many patients that are currently able to access or grow their own medicine.

Which Countries Are Most Hostile To Medicinal Cannabis?

Next we have countries that are making some progress, but have not yet made medicinal cannabis available beyond a small number of limited cases, or remain generally hostile to the necessary legislative changes. Such countries include France, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, the Baltic states, and all of the Scandinavian nations.

Russia persists in its draconian drug policies, despite some recent, erroneous reports to the contrary. Medicalmarijuana.eu and MERCY state that Russia has decriminalised the cultivation of up to 20 plants for personal use, but upon closer investigation it appears that this is not the case: any amount of cultivation may lead to criminal charges, but 20 plants or more is considered a “large amount”.

Greece is arguably one of the most hostile countries in today’s Europe, as it aggressively criminalizes growers of all types, and does not recognise the concept of medicinal cannabis at all. Indeed, but for a few exceptions, the Balkan region remains locked in deeply regressive drugs policies.

Portugal remains surprisingly hostile to medicinal cannabis, despite its famous decision in 2001 to decriminalise personal quantities of all drugs. France too has persisted in hostile and regressive attitudes towards cannabis for years, and medicinal cannabis is very difficult to access.

The microstates San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein have made very little movement towards legalizing medicinal cannabis. For residents of Andorra, at least, medicinal cannabis may be easily accessed just a short distance away in Catalunya.

And Which Countries Are A Good Future Bet?

Countries that have made substantial progress, but still need a lot of work put in before medicinal cannabis becomes widely available include Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Poland is another, but recent reports suggest that the situation is set to improve considerably in the near future.

Malta, which has only just legalized medicinal cannabis in any form, is a surprising candidate. The small island nation has a thriving subculture of cannabis use; personal cultivation has just been decriminalised, and several forms of medicinal cannabis have been made nominally available (although a recent report tells us that they have thus far rejected their sole application (for Sativex) as it was not prescribed by a “specialist”).

Also worth noting here are Eastern European several countries that have only recently begun to diverge from the hardline Soviet attitude towards drugs that still persists throughout the region. Several of these countries – such as Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia – are exhibiting increasingly tolerant attitudes towards cannabis, and as such we may see considerable progress in this area in the near future. Croatia and Macedonia have both made headlines this year for implementing medicinal cannabis laws; Serbia and Slovenia have also recently legalized cannabis-based derivatives, although activists have criticised this as a placatory half-measure.

Finally, the UK has a strong base of activists and growers, but has experienced a string of governments that remain surprisingly hostile to cannabis. However, the strong grower/activist base coupled with the comprehensive network of regional cannabis social clubs that are taking shape indicate that change is imminent. On the other hand, uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote may well see the question of cannabis legalisation pushed to the back of the queue, as it has been so many times in the past.

Comment Section
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Nenad
In Serbia the law says minimum 3 years in jail for basically possession of cannabis, smoking in public or similar. I wouldn’t consider that green in any map. Thanks!

12/08/2016

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Deutsche Bahn: Cannabis medicine at railway stations is permitted – from DHV

https://hanfverband.de/nachrichten/news/deutsche-bahn-cannabismedizin-auf-bahnhoefen-ist-erlaubt Published: 24 August 2017 – 11:08By: Florian Rister

Can cannabis patients take their medicine at stations? Are you allowed to smoke cannabis in designated smoking areas? These questions have not only been concerned with many affected and even railway workers since the amendment of the Act in March. The DHV has followed up at the German Railroad and received answers!

We are currently aware of a case in which a cannabis patient was given a ban on smoking in the smoking area of ​​a station due to the smoking of cannabis. It seemed all the more exciting to get an official statement from Deutsche Bahn. Because by the re-classification of medical cannabis as a classic Annex III narcotic, this actually corresponds to the same status as many other drugs also. It is therefore not surprising that the Deutsche Bahn provides in its opinion: Legal cannabis medicine prescribed and taken is permitted at railway stations, also smoked in the smoking zone!

Here are our related questions and the complete answers from DB:

1.) The building rules for DB stations prohibit “trade with and consumption of drugs and narcotics”. Does this apply in principle to prescribed anesthetics from Appendix III BtmG?

On the basis of the relevant legal bases, such as the BGB (German Civil Code) as well as other sources, the building rules for passenger stations reflect the conditions of use of all station visitors. The control content is based on the faulty behavior of station attendants perceived on the spot and are intended to ensure that all station visitors behave equally and in a manner which is reckless in DB’s railway stations. The regulation you referred to relates, as in the BtmG, to the anesthetics of Appendix III in principle. The exception to this is provided by medically prescribed anesthetics, which were prescribed by a physician according to the provisions of the BtmG §13 (1). In this case, we believe that the intended use, Which is detectable by the corresponding prescriptions. This means in practice, as long as pharmacies documented the entitlement to the funds from Annex III to prove and consumers according to the enclosed medical regulation the legal authority to the consumption of the anesthetics can prove and from consumption no danger for the life and / or the safety of the Railway undertakings, this is not prohibited by the rules of the DB railway stations.
2.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis take this orally in railway stations or other premises of the DB, eg as a drop, drink or pastry?

Provided that the requirements of § 13 (1) are met and the consumer can prove this and does not create any danger to life or limb through the use, the consumption is permitted in public areas of the passenger stations. For non-public areas of DB or third parties in the station, eg travel centers, office complexes or even rental units in railway stations, the respective responsible owners can define different regulations at their own discretion. This is beyond the competence of DB Station & Service AG.
3.) Can patients with a prescription for cannabis smoke this in designated smoking areas on DB stations?

If the requirements of § 13 para. 1 are fulfilled and the consumer is able to prove this and the risk of death is not a risk to life and limb, the patient may smoke in the designated smoking areas of the DB Cannabis stations by means of smoking. Provided that he does so in a provocative manner or for other station visitors of an inconvenient form, we reserve the right to use the relevant safety authorities as the owner of the house. If a consumer is unable or can not prove his right to use against our employees or on behalf of the DB companies on demand, we reserve the right to initiate domestic measures and to contact the relevant safety authorities to clarify the facts.
Subjects:
German Hemp Association
Cannabis as medicine
Panorama & Strange
Germany – General information
Special Topics:
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Cannabis as medicine law (2016)


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Cannabis Shows Promise In Treating Schizophrenia And Tourette Syndrome

Cannabis Shows Promise In Treating Schizophrenia And Tourette Syndrome – by Janet Burns

Despite cannabis’ history in folk pharmacopoeias, clinical studies of its medicinal impact remain limited in many areas. Based on some promising early results, researchers are now calling for a closer look at its applications for certain mental health conditions for which more ‘traditional’ treatments have come up short.

According to recent studies, the cannabis-derived chemical cannabidiol (CBD) may offer meaningful relief with schizophrenia, a frequently chronic condition which can significantly interfere with how we think, feel, and behave.

At the University of Wollongong, researchers first discovered that CBD could provide new kinds of symptom relief for schizophrenic individuals by examining what science has uncovered about the chemical so far. To get a sense of CBD’s impact on cognitive function in relation to schizophrenia, Dr. Katrina Green, Professor Nadia Solowij, and Wollongong Ph.D. candidate Ashleigh Osborne conducted a detailed review of 27 extant studies on the chemical and uncovered some “fascinating insights” about its potential therapeutic value.

In a release, Green commented that CBD could provide direct neurological support for a range of conditions affecting the brain, from schizophrenia to dementia. “From this review, we found that CBD will not improve learning and memory in healthy brains, but may improve aspects of learning and memory in illnesses associated with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as neurological and neuro-inflammatory disorders,” including hepatic encephalopathy, meningitis, sepsis, and cerebral malaria.

Green, who led the review, also noted that CBD may well be capable of reducing cognitive impairment that has been associated with THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, which has previously shown a potential to aggravate aspects of schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

Following the review, the researchers decided to put CBD’s potential for easing cognitive schizophrenia symptoms to the test with their own study using a rat model. With help from Senior Professor Xu-Feng Huang and Ph.D. candidate Ilijana Babic, what they found was that “chronic” administration of CBD seemed to attenuate the cognitive deficits and social withdrawal that often afflict persons with schizophrenia, which the team simulated in rats using prenatal poly I:C infection.

“We found that CBD was able to restore recognition and working memory, as well as social behavior, to normal levels,” Osborne said in a release. “These findings are interesting because they suggest that CBD may be able to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that are seemingly resistant to existing medications. In addition, CBD treatment did not alter body weight or food intake, which are common side effects of antipsychotic drug treatment.”

Osborne also explained to ABC News Australia, “This is really important because current antipsychotic drugs don’t address the cognitive deficits, which approximately 80% of patients with schizophrenia experience.”

According to the Australian team, the results of their review and study indicate some promising possibilities for treating schizophrenia with CBD, but also that more scientific research is definitely in order.

“This is the first study to prove Cannabidiol can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia that aren’t addressed by current medications,” Osborne told ABC News. “These findings are really promising but further research is needed to see if these findings translate to people suffering from schizophrenia.”

She added, “Ultimately, we hope that these findings lead to new improved medications.”

According to a recent study on schizophrenia and cannabis use, people with a greater risk for schizophrenia are likelier than others to keep trying the plant for themselves in the meantime.

In recent years, cannabis has also shown promise as a treatment for Tourette Syndrome, characterized by involuntary physical or verbal tics that are often physically or socially painful to endure.

A preliminary study published this year provided a retrospective evaluation of cannabis’ effectiveness and tolerability in treating adults with Tourette Syndrome. Conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto with support from the Tourette Association of America, the study found that 18 of 19 participants were at least “much improved” after a regimen of inhaled cannabis, while tics scores for the whole group decreased by 60%.

As NORML reported, all of the study’s participants experienced “clinically significant symptom relief,” including reductions in irritability, impulsivity, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and rage outbursts. The drug was also well tolerated by the participants, with mostly minor side effects being reported.

Overall, the researchers wrote, “These study participants experienced substantial improvements in their symptoms, [which] is particularly striking given that almost all participants had failed at least one anti-tic medication trial. … In conclusion, cannabis seems to be a promising treatment option for tics and associated symptoms.”

As NORML pointed out, research has previously determined that oral doses of THC have helped to decrease tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in patients with Tourette Syndrome by a hearty margin. Patients using inhaled cannabis, however, have “generally shown greater overall improvement.”

Given that cannabis and the chemicals it contains have demonstrated promise or proven effectiveness in treating such ailments as pain, nausea, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, neuropsychiatric disorders, epilepsy, and various symptoms thereof, many patients and practitioners are hoping that the Trump Administration will allow more research on the plant going forward.

In recent months, however, members of the administration have indicated a desire to rather crack down on the drug’s medicinal and recreational usage, at times due to the opinion–or, perhaps more accurately, the notion–that marijuana is not a medicine.

According to Merriam-Webster, a medicine is “a substance or preparation used in treating disease;” according to our own CDC, medicines are “used to treat diseases, manage conditions, and relieve symptoms.”

As the CDC points out, medicines can also contain a number of different drugs, and thereby pose different health risks depending on each patient. For example, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines like Tylenol and Excedrin contain the drug acetaminophen, which can easily be overdosed on (and/or do real liver damage) by doubling the dose once or twice, regardless of its interactions with other drugs, while over-dosing or incorrect use of OTC’s like Advil and Aleve, which contain drugs called NSAIDs, cause tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year, and thousands of deaths, though exact estimates vary.

Nevertheless, these drugs continue to be available as medicines because their perceived benefits are thought to outweigh the risks involved in taking them–an assessment which is critical for both doctors and drug manufacturers to perform, according to the FDA.

And since research and experts have consistently suggested that the potential benefits of cannabis would far outweigh the risks and side-effects involved–enough to warrant further study, in the very least–hopefully our elected officials and appointed administrators will realign their sense of the plant with science’s definition soon.

Janet Burns covers tech, culture, and other fun stuff from Brooklyn, NY. She also hosts the cannabis news podcast The Toke.


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How cannabis patients despite the prescription are harassed by the police – by BENEDICT NIESSEN

How cannabis patients despite the prescription are harassed by the police

BENEDICT NIESSEN
Aug 25, 2017, 12:48 pm

Symbolfoto: imago Christian Mang

Anxious doctors, skimpy coffers, inexpensive grass, empty pharmacies. The medical cannabis legislation: a first gloomy conclusion.

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Glockenbachviertel in Munich, a sunny spring day in May. The 31 year old Christoph sits with two girlfriends on a meadow on the Isar. “Somehow I had to take my medication,” says Christoph. Its medications are joints. He has ADHD. A few minutes later four civilian policemen are standing around the group. “One of them immediately took the joint away and they began to search me,” recalls Christoph.

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He tells the policeman that in his left handbag he finds his prescription for cannabis . “After they finally looked at it, a policeman imprisoned me for prescription.” The policemen then search his companions. Christoph asks for the reason for the search. “One of the policemen just said, ‘Other junkies have knives and syringes.'” Then the policemen let him run. For Christopher, however, the case is not finished. He lodged a complaint “on the grounds of unlawful and disproportionate police action, damage to my property, and insult to my person by police officers 21”. The policeHas answered him that the Bavarian LKA is now checking whether the police have acted illegally, and whether Christoph is entitled to compensation. It is the normal normal madness for German patients, who since March cannabis can get by law as medicine.

This is how a prescription for medical cannabis looks (Photo: private)
Alone at the Barmer, the AOK and the Techniker Krankenkasse asked nearly 6,000 patients around cannabis on the prescription and a reimbursement, writes the star . Christoph has been using a cannabis recipe since April. “I am hyperactive and very sensitive to the sound,” he says. “During the day, I need the THC to be able to focus, but I’m tired in the afternoon because of my basic activity.” Unlike the current ADHD drug Ritalin – which Christoph took since his 13th year of age – cannabis has no side effects. The new cannabis law would actually help him – if he came to his medicine.

“Since I have my prescription, the varieties that my doctor has prescribed for me are not available,” says Christoph. “Since June there was nothing left, so I had to wait three weeks.” Substitutes such as the oral spray Sativex had been incorrectly dosed. Christoph earned his money as a software developer. “I have to go to work and can not be on such a downer means, where I run around in the afternoon like a zombie.”

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“The supply bottlenecks for physically prescribed cannabis exist nationwide and can theoretically occur in each of the approximately 20,000 pharmacies,” writes the German Association of German Pharmacists (ABDA) on demand from VICE. After all, “Some retailers will probably be available again from September.” German pharmacies are still ordering cannabis in the Netherlands and Canada until next year’s production is due to start. “For four or five weeks, we are witnessing the first big supply bottleneck, but there will probably be bottlenecks again in the future because demand is constantly increasing,” explains Deputy Managing Director of the German Hanfverband (DHV), Florian Rister. There are further problems with the bottlenecks.

Also with VICE: The cook, the grass keeps alive.

Since March 10, patients should be able to get cannabis – actually. “It is still unclear for the patients whether the health insurance funds pay because the law was so spongy,” says Rister of the hemp association. Because there is no exact definition of disease images, the cash desks themselves can decide whether to pay or not. Barmer, AOK and Techniker Krankenkasse, according to their own data, granted only about half of the nearly 6,000 applications.

Another problem: since the law change, the prices of medicinal cannabis blossoms have doubled . This price explosion included, among other things, the fact that cannabis has to be labeled as a prescription drug and not as a finished drug , and pharmacies can make a 100 percent purchase price. “The prices are currently 24 euros per gram for private individuals, who have to pay themselves. For the coffers, such a price explosion is also a burden,” says Rister. The high prices also deter the doctors. “While many doctors have never been involved in cannabis, other people are afraid to break their practice budgets with these high costs and to be reconsidered .”

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Because many patients do not find a doctor, one of the leading German specialists for cannabis has been in hunger for a week . Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen wants to draw attention to the criminalization of cannabis patients. “The law is a great step in the right direction, but many patients still have to provide their medicine illegally,” says Grotenhermen to VICE. He calls for a change of law. “The prosecution of patients who have a doctor certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must be terminated.”

Christoph, despite the bottlenecks in pharmacies, has not yet returned to a dealer on the road. He was lucky and managed to get last doses of cannabis blossoms at pharmacies in Munich. Even if his health insurance does not pay his ten prescribed daily dues. Christoph, however, also knows of patients who had to get their medicine different because of the bottlenecks. If they are caught, they are threatened with an advertisement. At the Deutscher Hanfverband, other patients who, like Christoph, were searched or arrested by the police, despite a prescription for cannabis use. “Personal injury, house searches, insults” are the accusations against the officials in at least four cases, which the DHV Munich collected so far.

Icon image: Christoph is not the only cannabis patient who is criminalized by the police (Photo: imago | IPON)
In an open letter to the Minister of Health and the Drug Commissioner, The Left Party already drew attention at the beginning of June to pimpling coffers and the price explosions for cannabis blossoms. The federal government stated in a reply that it had requested a report to the top association of statutory health insurance (GKV). However, because the Federal Government did not set any time limits, the problems could be protracted. “The government needs to cut prices by law in the interests of patients,” the Frank-Tempel drug spokesman said on the website of his party , “We need short-term solutions and can not wait any longer.”

Just a week ago, the Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner, Marlene Mortler (CSU), published the sobering drug and addiction report 2017 . In it, the passionate grass-adversary warned against a trivialization of cannabis and demanded an active anti-cannabis policy in the federation. Specialist Franjo Grotenhermen says he would like to talk with Mortler about the dangers. “I would like to invite her, but she would never accept anything like this.” Mrs. Mortler would look embarrassed if she would talk to me because she can not do anything but “Drugs are dangerous.” He does not believe in a quick solution. “At the moment I am simply desperate and try to draw attention to the failures with this hunger strike.”

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Christoph also hopes for change. Since the incident with the police, he is careful, he says. “I was pretty done now, I’m always watching where I can take my medication every day.” After all, ten doses a day – ten joints – were prescribed for him. “Should I hide, so that I may be well? That is not the point.” Yet he believes in the law. “I would be glad if it finally helped us,” he says. “I just hope I get the right drugs soon, pay my health insurance and I do not have to be afraid of the police.”
https://www.vice.com/de/article/j55bgb/wie-cannabis-patienten-trotz-rezept-von-der-polizei-schikaniert-werden?utm_medium=link&utm_source=vicefbde
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European Union COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2017/1155 of 15 February 2017 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 as regards the control measures relating to the cultivation of hemp

30.6.2017
EN
Official Journal of the European Union
L 167/1
COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2017/1155
of 15 February 2017
amending Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 as regards the control measures relating to the cultivation of hemp, certain provisions on the greening payment, the payment for young farmers in control of a legal person, the calculation of the per unit amount in the framework of voluntary coupled support, the fractions of payment entitlements and certain notification requirements relating to the single area payment scheme and the voluntary coupled support, and amending Annex X to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 (1), and in particular Article 35(2) and (3), Articles 44(5)(b) and 46(9)(a) and (c), Article 50(11), Article 52(9)(a) and Article 67(1) and (2)(a) thereof,
Whereas:
(1)
According to Article 35(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts making the granting of payments conditional upon the use of certified seeds of certain hemp varieties and laying down the procedure for the determination of hemp varieties and the verification of their tetrahydrocannabinol content (THC content) referred to in Article 32(6) of that Regulation. At present, Article 9 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 (2) only provides for the obligation to use seed of the varieties listed in the ‘Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species’ and to use seed certified in accordance with Council Directive 2002/57/EC (3). The rules for the determination of hemp varieties and the verification of their THC content currently laid down in Article 45 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014 (4) and the Annex to that Regulation should be included in Article 9 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014.
(2)
The rules for the determination of hemp varieties and the verification of the THC content are based on the assumption that hemp is cultivated as main crop, but they are not fully suitable for hemp cultivated as catch crop. As this latter cultivation method has proved to be appropriate for industrial hemp and compatible with environmental requirements, it is justified to adapt both provisions to take into account the characteristics of hemp cultivated as catch crop. In that context, it is also appropriate to provide a definition of hemp cultivated as catch crop.
(3)
Article 24 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 lays down requirements for the activation of payment entitlements. In order to avoid any diverging interpretation, it is appropriate to clarify that for the purposes of Article 31(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, also a fraction of a payment entitlement is considered as fully activated. However, it should be stated explicitly that the payment is calculated on the basis of the corresponding fraction of an eligible hectare.
(4)
Articles 38 to 48 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 lay down rules supplementing the provisions on standard greening practices established by Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013. On the basis of the experience gained during the first year in which those practices were applied, it is necessary to amend certain aspects of those rules in order to simplify the implementation of the greening practices for the benefit of farmers and national administrations while maintaining or improving the environment and climate impact. In particular, the modifications should contribute to address the actions identified in the conclusions of the Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and enable progress of the coverage of agricultural area by biodiversity related measures under the common agricultural policy (5).
(5)
In the rules on the calculation of shares of different crops for crop diversification set out in Article 40 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, the crop diversification period is based on traditional cultivation practices in Member States. It is appropriate to allow Member States to fix different periods at regional or sub-regional level in order to take into account possible diverse climatic conditions within a territory of a Member State. In some specific situations where a significant variety of crops on a small area exists, it should be possible, in order to simplify the declaration of crops grown, to declare them as one mixed crop.
(6)
As regards land lying fallow, setting a period in Article 45(2) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 during which there should be no agricultural production is fundamental to ensure the environmental effectiveness of such land and to avoid any confusion with other areas such as grasslands. In order to take into account the different agro-climatic conditions across the Union, Member States should have the possibility to set such period to allow farmers to resume main crops before the end of the year. However, such period should not be shorter than 6 months in order to meet the objectives of environmental effectiveness and to avoid any confusion with other areas.
(7)
The distinction between different landscape features listed in Article 45(4) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 is a source of uncertainty for farmers when declaring ecological focus areas. In order to reduce this uncertainty, simplify the management of the scheme for Member States’ authorities and address the complexity encountered by farmers when declaring ecological focus areas, hedges and wooded strips referred to in point (a) of that provision and trees in line referred to in point (c) of that provision should be grouped as one type of landscape feature so that one single dimension limit applies to them. Moreover, for the same reasons, the areas referred to in Article 45(4)(d) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 should be grouped under field copses.
(8)
Furthermore, even if, as stated in recital 51 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, maximum dimensions of landscape features are needed to ensure that the area is predominantly agricultural, such dimension limits should not lead to the exclusion of features that exceed such dimensions but which are valuable for biodiversity. Therefore, the area which may be qualified as a landscape feature pursuant to Article 45(4) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 should be calculated up to the maximum dimension of the feature.
(9)
Given the high environmental benefit of riparian vegetation referred to in the fifth subparagraph of Article 45(4) and in Article 45(5) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, it is appropriate to set out that all riparian vegetation should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the ecological focus areas.
(10)
For the same reasons as mentioned in recitals 7 and 8 in relation to Article 45(4) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, field margins, currently referred to in point (e) of that provision, should be merged with buffer strips in Article 45(5) of that Regulation and a single dimension limit should be set in relation to buffer strips and field margins. Such maximum dimension in relation to buffer strips and field margins should refer to the area which may be qualified as buffer strips and field margins pursuant to Article 45(5) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014. In order to provide the maximum flexibility to farmers, the definition of buffer strips under GAEC 1, SMR 1 or SMR 10 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6) and field margins protected under GAEC 7, SMR 2 or SMR 3 as referred to in that Annex, should be supplemented by other buffer strips and field margins, meaning any kind of strips not covered by these two categories under cross-compliance rules.
(11)
The second subparagraph of Article 46(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 allows landscape features and buffer strips adjacent to arable land to be considered as ecological focus areas. In order to maximise the environmental benefit of landscape features and buffer strips referred to in Article 45(4) and (5) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 and encourage the protection and maintenance of additional elements, this provision should be supplemented with rules offering flexibility by taking into account other environmentally valuable elements which fulfil the definition of these ecological focus area types and which are not adjacent to the arable land of the holding. Therefore, where such buffer strip and field margin or landscape feature is adjacent to the ecological focus area directly adjacent to the arable land of a holding, it should also be recognised as an ecological focus area.
(12)
For the same reasons as mentioned in recitals 7 and 8 in relation to Article 45(4) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, the maximum dimensions set in relation to strips of eligible hectares along forest edges referred to in Article 45(7) of that Regulation should refer to the area which may be qualified as such strips pursuant to that provision.
(13)
In light of the provisions of point (g) of the first subparagraph of Article 46(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 it is appropriate to clarify that the establishment of the requirements as regards the use of mineral fertilisers and/or plant protection products is relevant only in case such input products are authorised.
(14)
The existing deadline for sowing of catch crops and green cover laid down in Article 45(9) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 does not always fit with the agronomic and climatic conditions. With a view to better achieving the environmental objectives of this ecological focus area type, it is appropriate to replace the deadline for sowing of catch crops and green cover with a minimum period of time during which areas under catch crops and green cover have to be in place. In order to provide the necessary flexibility to take into account seasonal weather conditions, Member States should be allowed to fix that period at the most appropriate geographical level. However, since the permanence of catch crops and green cover on the ground is a key factor in ensuring an effective take up of residual nitrate and coverage of soil while the area is not covered by the main crop, the minimum length of the period should be set at Union level. In order to be consistent with the interpretation provided on the definition of grasses or other herbaceous forage laid down in Article 4(1)(i) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, under-sowing leguminous crops in the main crop should also be possible. Furthermore, in order to ensure consistency between equivalent practices covered by commitments and certification schemes as referred to in Article 43(3)(a) and (b) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, respectively, rules on qualifying catch crops or green cover as ecological focus areas should be aligned.
(15)
Even if, as a general rule only areas with nitrogen-fixing crops grown as pure species should be qualified as ecological focus areas, given that in traditional cultivation practices such crops are often mixed with other crops, it is appropriate to allow, under Article 45(10) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, that areas with mixtures may also be qualified as ecological focus areas provided that the predominance of the nitrogen-fixing crops in such mixtures is ensured. In addition, based on the experience with the application of the first subparagraph of Article 45(10) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 and in light of the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC (7) and Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (8), it is superfluous to prescribe specific rules on the location of these nitrogen-fixing crops. Instead, and with a view to strengthening Member States efforts to address the risk of nitrogen leaching in the autumn, Member States should be allowed to establish additional conditions on nitrogen-fixing crops if necessary. Furthermore, in order to ensure consistency between equivalent practices covered by commitments and certification schemes as referred to in Article 43(3)(a) and (b) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, respectively, rules on qualifying nitrogen-fixing crops as ecological focus area should be aligned.
(16)
Experience with the application of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 has proven that certain provisions relating to the ecological focus area types need to be more detailed as regards the requirement of ‘no production’ including the rules on cutting and grazing with a view to meeting the objective of biodiversity and to ensuring consistency with other instruments of the common agricultural policy. In particular, as regards the ‘no agricultural production’ requirement applicable to the ecological focus area types referred to in Article 45(2), (4)(e), (5) and (7) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, it should be clarified that production should be understood as agricultural activity in the meaning of Article 4(1)(c)(i) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, and not in the broader sense of Article 4(1)(c)(ii) and (iii) of the same Regulation, and should not affect the rules on minimum soil cover under GAEC 4 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013. In addition, undertaking actions by farmers, in particular, by facilitating pollination, in order to safeguard and improve biodiversity, aiming at establishing a green soil cover and which are, for instance, covered by an agri-environment-climate commitment, should be incentivised to maximise the environmental benefits.
(17)
Given that the three main types of areas declared by farmers as ecological focus areas in the first year of implementation of Article 46 of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 are areas which are, or may be, productive, namely land lying fallow, catch crops or green cover and nitrogen-fixing crops, plant production products are likely to be used in ecological focus areas. Therefore, in order to safeguard and improve biodiversity in line with the objectives of ‘greening’, it is appropriate to ban the use of plant protection products on the following ecological focus areas which are or may be productive: land lying fallow, strips of eligible hectares along forest edges with production, catch crops or green cover and nitrogen-fixing crops. Where catch crops or green cover is established by under-sowing grass or leguminous crops in the main crop, in order to avoid, for proportionality reasons, consequences for the management of the main crop, such a ban should apply from the moment of the harvesting of the main crop. In order to ensure consistency of the ban with the usual agronomic practices, ensure legal certainty and avoid administrative difficulties for farmers and national administrations it should be specified that the ban for under-sowing should apply for at least a minimum period, equal to the minimum period during which areas under catch crops or green cover have to be in place when established by sowing a mixture of crop species, or until the sowing of the next main crop.
(18)
Article 49 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 lays down the rules under which legal persons have access to the payment for young farmers provided for in Article 50(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013. On the basis of the experience gained with the application of Article 49(3) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, a further clarification should be provided as to the interpretation of the requirement laid down in point (b) of Article 50(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 in respect of the time when a young farmer who exercises effective and long-term control over a legal person has to comply with the age limit. In particular, it is appropriate to clarify that the young farmer has to comply with the age limit of 40 years in the year of the first submission of an application under the basic payment scheme or the single area payment scheme by the legal person with a young farmer in control.
(19)
According to the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, the per unit amount of voluntary coupled support results from the ratio between the amount fixed for the financing of the relevant measure and either the quantitative limit fixed pursuant to the first subparagraph of Article 53(2), or the number of hectares or animals that are eligible for the support in the year in question. It is appropriate to reformulate that provision in such a way that Member States may fix the per unit amount at a value within the range between those two values where the number of eligible units is lower than the quantitative limit.
(20)
Pursuant to Article 64(5) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, Member States applying the single area payment scheme in accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 are to notify the Commission by 1 September each year of the total number of hectares declared by farmers under that scheme. However, that information is notified to the Commission annually in more detail pursuant to Article 9(1) of Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014. Article 64(5) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 can therefore be deleted.
(21)
Based on the Commission’s experience with the management of the notifications relating to greening pursuant to Article 65 to Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, some adjustments should be made as regards their content, including with respect to greening provisions of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 as amended by this Regulation.
(22)
In accordance with Article 67(2) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014, Member States are to notify the Commission of the total number of beneficiaries, the amount of the payments which have been granted as well as the total area and the total number of animals for which the support has actually been paid for each coupled support measure and each of the specific types of farming or specific agricultural sectors concerned.
(23)
As from claim year 2015, the total number of beneficiaries and the total area or total number of animals claimed and determined for each voluntary coupled support measure are notified by Member States in accordance with Article 9(1) and (3) of Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014. Furthermore, as from claim year 2016, the amount of the payments which have been granted for each coupled support measure will be included in the communications of information by the Member States in accordance with Article 10 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 908/2014 (9). Therefore, Article 67(2) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 should be deleted.
(24)
Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 should therefore be amended accordingly.
(25)
As a consequence of the amendment of certain provisions of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 concerning the ecological focus area types, changes to Annex X to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 need to be made, in particular by adapting the list of ecological focus area types and the corresponding factors, where necessary. Recital 45 of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 emphasises the importance of ecological focus areas to be established in a coherent way. Therefore, conversion and weighting factors applicable to equivalent practices have to be consistent with the factors applicable to similar or identical standard practices. In the interest of legal certainty and equal treatment between farmers, Annex X to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 should be amended accordingly.
(26)
This Regulation should enter into force on the third day after its publication. However, as the clarification of Article 49(3) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 and the reformulation of the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of that Regulation reflect an interpretation given to those provisions since the application of that Regulation, it is appropriate that those amendments apply retroactively. Considering the time necessary for the national authorities to update their existing administrative tools and to inform farmers sufficiently in advance of the amendments of the greening provisions made by this Regulation, those amendments should only apply with respect to aid applications relating to calendar years starting as from 1 January 2018. However, Member States should be given the possibility to apply them with respect to aid applications relating to calendar year 2017 while bearing in mind that any choices in this regard should be coherent from the perspective of farmers. A notification obligation as regards consequential changes to previous notifications relating to that calendar year should be provided for,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
Amendment of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014
Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 is amended as follows:
(1)
Article 9 is replaced by the following:
‘Article 9
Hemp
1. For the purposes of Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the eligibility of areas used for the production of hemp shall be subject to the use of seed of the varieties listed in the “Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species” on 15 March of the year in respect of which the payment is granted and published in accordance with Article 17 of Council Directive 2002/53/EC (*1). The seed shall be certified in accordance with Council Directive 2002/57/EC (*2).
2. Member States shall establish the system for determining the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol content (hereinafter referred to as “THC content”) in hemp varieties, which allows them to apply the method set out in Annex III.
3. The competent authority of the Member State shall keep the records related to findings on the THC content. Such records shall comprise for each variety at least the results in terms of THC content from each sample expressed in percentage to two decimal places, the procedure used, the number of tests carried out, an indication of the point at which the sample was taken and measures taken at national level.
4. If an average of all the samples of a given variety exceeds the THC content as laid down in Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, Member States shall use procedure B as described in Annex III to this Regulation for the variety concerned in the course of the following claim year. That procedure shall be used in the course of the next claim years unless all the analytical results for the given variety are below the THC content as laid down in Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013.
5. If for the second year the average of all the samples of a given variety exceeds the THC content as laid down in Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the Member State shall notify the Commission of the request for authorisation to prohibit the marketing of such variety in accordance with Article 18 of Directive 2002/53/EC. Such notification shall be sent in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 (*3) by 15 January of the following claim year at the latest. Starting from that claim year, the variety covered by that request shall not be eligible for direct payments in the Member State concerned.
6. For the purposes of this Regulation, “hemp cultivated as catch crop” means crop of hemp sown after 30 June of a given year.
7. Crops of hemp shall continue to be cultivated under normal growing conditions in accordance with local practice for at least 10 days from the date of the end of flowering so that the checks necessary for the application of this Article can be made. Hemp cultivated as catch crop shall continue to be cultivated under normal growing conditions in accordance with local practice at least until the end of the vegetation period.
However, Member States may authorise hemp to be harvested after flowering has begun but before the end of the 10-day period after the end of flowering, provided that the inspectors indicate which representative parts of each plot concerned must continue to be cultivated for at least 10 days following the end of flowering for inspection purposes, in accordance with the method set out in Annex III.
(*1) Council Directive 2002/53/EC of 13 June 2002 on the common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species (OJ L 193, 20.7.2002, p. 1).”
(*2) Council Directive 2002/57/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of seed of oil and fibre plants (OJ L 193, 20.7.2002, p. 74).”
(*3) Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States’ notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments’ regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands (OJ L 228, 1.9.2009, p. 3).’”
(2)
In Article 24, paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
‘2. Where a farmer declares a number of payment entitlements exceeding his total eligible area declared pursuant to Article 33(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the payment entitlement or the fraction of a payment entitlement which is partially exceeding that eligible area shall be deemed as fully activated for the purposes of Article 31(1)(b) of that Regulation. However, the payment shall be calculated on the basis of the corresponding fraction of an eligible hectare.’
(3)
Article 40 is amended as follows:
(a)
in the first subparagraph of paragraph 1, the following sentence is added:
‘That period may be fixed at national, regional or the appropriate sub-regional level.’;
(b)
in paragraph 3, the following fourth subparagraph is added:
‘Areas on which different crops are grown next to each other, where each single crop covers an area that is smaller than the minimum size set by Member States referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 72(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013, may be considered by Member States as covered with one ‘mixed crop’ as referred to in the third subparagraph of this paragraph.’
(4)
Article 45 is amended as follows:
(a)
paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
‘2. On land lying fallow there shall be no agricultural production. Member States shall fix a period during which the land must be lying fallow in a given calendar year. That period shall not be shorter than 6 months. By way of derogation from Article 4(1)(h) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, land lying fallow for the purpose of fulfilling the ecological focus area for more than 5 years shall remain arable land.’;
(b)
paragraphs 4 and 5 are replaced by the following:
‘4. Landscape features shall be at the disposal of the farmer and may be those that are protected under GAEC 7, SMR 2 or SMR 3 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 and/or one or more of the following features:
(a)
hedges, wooded strips or trees in line;
(b)
isolated trees;
(c)
field copses including trees, bushes or stones;
(d)
ponds. Reservoirs made of concrete or plastic shall not be considered ecological focus areas;
(e)
ditches, including open watercourses for the purpose of irrigation or drainage. Channels with walls of concrete shall not be considered ecological focus areas.
(f)
traditional stone walls.
Member States may decide to limit the selection of landscape features to those under GAEC 7, SMR 2 or SMR 3 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 and/or to one or more of points (a) to (f) of the first subparagraph.
For the hedges, wooded strips and trees in line as well as ditches referred to in points (a) and (e) of the first subparagraph, respectively, the area to be qualified as ecological focus area shall be calculated up to a maximum width of 10 metres.
For the field copses and ponds referred to in points (c) and (d) of the first subparagraph, respectively, the area to be qualified as ecological focus area shall be calculated up to a maximum size of 0,3 hectare.
For the purposes of point (d) of the first subparagraph, Member States may set a minimum size for ponds. Where there is a strip with riparian vegetation along the water the corresponding area shall be included for the purpose of calculating the ecological focus area. Member States may establish criteria to ensure that ponds are of natural value, taking into account the role that natural ponds play for the conservation of habitats and species.
For the purposes of point (f) of the first subparagraph, Member States shall establish minimum criteria based on national or regional specificities, including limits to the dimensions of height and width.
5. Buffer strips and field margins may be any buffer strips and field margins including those buffer strips along water courses required under GAEC 1, SMR 1 or SMR 10 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 or field margins protected under GAEC 7, SMR 2 or SMR 3 as referred to in that Annex.
Member States shall not limit the selection of buffer strips and field margins to those required under the cross compliance rules referred to in the first subparagraph.
Member States shall establish the minimum width of buffer strips and field margins which shall not be below 1 metre for ecological focus area purposes. Along water courses, riparian vegetation shall be included for the purpose of calculating the ecological focus area. There shall be no agricultural production on buffer strips and field margins.
For buffer strips and field margins other than those required or protected under GAEC 1, GAEC 7, SMR 1, SMR 2, SMR 3 or SMR 10 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013, the area to be qualified as ecological focus area shall be calculated up to a maximum width of 20 metres.’;
(c)
the following paragraph 5a is inserted:
‘5a. For the purposes of the second sentence of the second subparagraph of Article 46(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, areas referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this Article shall be considered as adjacent areas or features where they are adjacent to an ecological focus area directly adjacent to the arable land of the holding.’;
(d)
paragraphs 7 to 10 are replaced by the following:
‘7. As regards strips of eligible hectares along forest edges Member States may decide either to allow agricultural production or to establish a requirement of no agricultural production, or to provide the two options for farmers. Member States shall establish the minimum width of those strips, which shall not be below 1 metre.
The area to be qualified as ecological focus area shall be calculated up to a maximum width of 10 metres where Member States decide to allow agricultural production and 20 metres where Member States decide not to allow agricultural production.
8. For areas with short rotation coppice with no use of mineral fertiliser and/or plant protection products, Member States shall establish a list of species that may be used for this purpose, by selecting from the list established pursuant to Article 4(2)(c) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 the species that are most suitable from an ecological perspective, thereby excluding species that are clearly not indigenous. Member States shall also establish the requirements as regards the use of mineral fertilisers and/or plant protection products in case Member States authorise their use, keeping in mind the objective of ecological focus areas in particular to safeguard and improve biodiversity.
9. Areas under catch crops or green cover shall include such areas established pursuant to the requirements under SMR 1 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 as well as other areas under catch crops or green cover, on the condition that they were established by sowing a mixture of crop species or by under-sowing grass or leguminous crops in the main crop.
Member States shall set up the list of mixtures of crop species to be used and fix the period at national, regional, sub-regional or farm level during which areas under catch crops or green cover when established by sowing a mixture of crop species have to be in place. This period shall not be less than 8 weeks. Member States may establish additional conditions notably with regard to production methods.
Areas under catch crops or green cover shall not include areas under winter crops which are sown in autumn normally for harvesting or for grazing. They shall also not include the areas covered with equivalent practices mentioned in points I.3 and 4 of Annex IX to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013.
10. On areas with nitrogen-fixing crops, farmers shall grow those nitrogen-fixing crops which are included in a list established by the Member State. That list shall contain the nitrogen-fixing crops that the Member State considers as contributing to the objective of improving biodiversity and may include mixtures of nitrogen-fixing crops with other crops provided that nitrogen-fixing crop species are predominant. Those crops shall be present during the growing season. Member States may establish additional conditions notably with regard to production method, in particular with a view to taking into account the need to meet the objectives of Directive 91/676/EEC and Directive 2000/60/EC, given the potential of nitrogen-fixing crops to increase the risk of nitrogen leaching in the autumn.
Areas with nitrogen-fixing crops shall not include the areas covered with equivalent practices mentioned in points I.3 and 4 of Annex IX to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013.’;
(e)
the following paragraphs 10a, 10b and 10c are inserted:
‘10a. For the purposes of paragraphs 2, 5 and 7, “no agricultural production” means no agricultural activity as defined in Article 4(1)(c)(i) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, without prejudice to the requirements defined under GAEC 4 as referred to in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013. Actions aiming at establishing a green soil cover for biodiversity purposes, including sowing mixtures of wild flower seeds, shall be allowed.
However, by way of derogation from the “no production” requirement, for the purposes of paragraphs 5 and 7, Member States may allow cutting or grazing on buffer strips and field margins as well as on strips of eligible hectares along forest edges without production, provided that the strip remains distinguishable from adjacent agricultural land.
10b. The use of plant protection products shall be prohibited on all areas referred to in paragraphs 2, 9 and 10 as well as on areas with agricultural production referred to in paragraph 7.
10c. On areas referred to in paragraph 9 established by under-sowing grass or leguminous crops in the main crop, this prohibition shall apply from the moment of the harvesting of the main crop for at least 8 weeks or until the sowing of the next main crop.’
(5)
In Article 49(3), the following subparagraph is added:
‘A young farmer who exercises effective and long-term control over the legal person within the meaning of point (b) of the first subparagraph of paragraph 1 of this Article shall, for the purposes of Article 50(2)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, be no more than 40 years of age in the year of the first submission of an application under the basic payment scheme or the single area payment scheme by that legal person with a young farmer in control.’
(6)
In Article 53(2), the second subparagraph is replaced by the following:
‘The annual payment shall be expressed as the per unit amount of support. It may be either one of the following amounts, or, when the area or the number of animals eligible for the support does not exceed the area or the number of animals fixed as referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph, an amount between them:
(a)
the ratio between the amount fixed for the financing of the measure as notified according to point (3)(i) of Annex I to this Regulation and the area or the number of animals eligible for the support in the year in question;
(b)
the ratio between the amount fixed for the financing of the measure as notified according to point (3)(i) of Annex I to this Regulation and the area or the number of animals fixed as referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph.’
(7)
In Article 64, paragraph 5 is deleted.
(8)
Article 65(1) is amended as follows:
(a)
point (c) is amended as follows:
(i)
point (ii) is replaced by the following:
‘(ii)
the total number of farmers exempted from one or more greening practices and the number of hectares declared by such farmers, the number of farmers exempted from all practices because they comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, the number of farmers participating in the small farmer scheme, the number of farmers exempted from the crop diversification obligation, and the number of farmers exempted from the ecological focus area obligation, and the respective number of hectares declared by such farmers;’;
(ii)
point (vi) is replaced by the following:
‘(vi)
the total number of farmers declaring environmentally sensitive permanent grassland, the total number of hectares covered by environmentally sensitive permanent grassland declared by such farmers, the total number of hectares of designated environmentally sensitive permanent grasslands and the total number of hectares of permanent grassland in areas covered by Directives 92/43/EEC or 2009/147/EC;’;
(b)
the following point (e) is added:
‘(e)
by 1 August of each year, the period to be taken into account for the calculation of the shares of different crops in accordance with Article 40(1) of this Regulation, as well as the geographical level at which that period is fixed.’
(9)
In Article 67, paragraph 2 is deleted.
(10)
Annex III is added, the text of which is set out in Annex I to this Regulation.
Article 2
Amendment of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013
Annex X to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 is replaced by the text set out in Annex II to this Regulation.
Article 3
Transitional measures
1. By way of derogation from the second paragraph of Article 4, Member States may decide to apply some or all of the amendments made by points (3), (4) and (8) of Article 1 and, as a consequence, the amendment made by Article 2 in relation to standard ecological focus area features, with respect to aid applications relating to calendar year 2017.
2. Member States shall notify the Commission and shall inform farmers of the decision referred to in paragraph 1 and of the consequential changes to the notifications made pursuant to Article 65(1) to (4) of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 no later than 1 month after the entry into force of this Regulation.
Article 4
Entry into force and application
This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Points (3), (4), and (8) of Article 1 and Article 2 shall apply with respect to aid applications relating to calendar years starting as from 1 January 2018.
Points (5) and (6) of Article 1 shall apply with respect to aid applications relating to calendar years subsequent to calendar year 2014.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 15 February 2017.
For the Commission
The President
Jean-Claude JUNCKER
(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 608.
(2) Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 639/2014 of 11 March 2014 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and amending Annex X to that Regulation (OJ L 181, 20.6.2014, p. 1).
(3) Council Directive 2002/57/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of seed of oil and fibre plants (OJ L 193, 20.7.2002, p. 74).
(4) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014 of 17 July 2014 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the integrated administration and control system, rural development measures and cross compliance (OJ L 227, 31.7.2014, p. 69).
(5) COM(2015) 478 final, Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — The Mid Term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
(6) Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 352/78, (EC) No 165/94, (EC) No 2799/98, (EC) No 814/2000, (EC) No 1290/2005 and (EC) No 485/2008 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 549).
(7) Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (OJ L 375, 31.12.1991, p. 1).
(8) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1).
(9) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 908/2014 of 6 August 2014 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to paying agencies and other bodies, financial management, clearance of accounts, rules on checks, securities and transparency (OJ L 255, 28.8.2014, p. 59).
ANNEX I

ANNEX III
Union method for the quantitative determination of the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol content in hemp varieties
1. Scope
The method set out in this Annex seeks to determine the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (hereinafter referred to as THC) content of varieties of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). As appropriate, the method involves applying procedure A or B as described in this Annex.
The method is based on the quantitative determination of THC by gas chromatography (GC) after extraction with a suitable solvent.
1.1. Procedure A
Procedure A shall be used for checks on the production of hemp as referred to in Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 and Article 30(g) of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014 (*1).
1.2. Procedure B
Procedure B shall be used in cases as referred to in Article 36(6) of Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014.
2. Sampling
2.1. Samples
The samples shall be taken during the day following a systematic pattern to ensure that the sample is representative of the field, but excluding the edges of the crop.
2.1.1. Procedure A: in a standing crop of a given variety of hemp, a 30 cm part containing at least one female inflorescence of each plant selected shall be taken. Sampling shall be carried out during the period running from 20 days after the start of flowering to 10 days after the end of flowering.
Member States may authorise sampling to be carried out during the period from the start of flowering to 20 days after the start of flowering provided that, for each variety grown, other representative samples are taken in accordance with the first subparagraph during the period from 20 days after the start of flowering to 10 days after the end of flowering.
For hemp cultivated as catch crop, in the absence of female inflorescences, the top 30 cm of the plant stem shall be taken. In that case sampling shall be carried out just before the end of the vegetation period, once the leaves begin presenting the first signs of yellowing, however no later than the onset of a forecast period of frost.
2.1.2. Procedure B: in a standing crop of a given variety of hemp, the upper third of each plant selected shall be taken. Sampling shall be carried out during the 10 days following the end of flowering or, for hemp cultivated as catch crop, in the absence of female inflorescences, just before the end of the vegetation period, once the leaves begin presenting the first sign of yellowing, but no later than the onset of a forecast period of frost. In the case of dioecious varieties, only female plants shall be taken.
2.2. Sample size
Procedure A: the sample shall comprise parts of 50 plants per field.
Procedure B: the sample shall comprise parts of 200 plants per field.
Each sample shall be placed in a fabric or paper bag, without crushing it, and be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
The Member State may provide for a second sample to be collected for counteranalysis, if required, to be kept either by the producer or by the body responsible for the analysis.
2.3. Drying and storage of the sample
Drying of the samples shall begin as soon as possible and, in any case, within 48 hours using any method below 70 °C.
Samples shall be dried to a constant weight and to a moisture content of between 8 % and 13 %.
After drying, the samples shall be stored without crushing them at below 25 °C in a dark place.
3. Determination of THC content
3.1. Preparation of the test sample
Stems and seeds over 2 mm in size shall be removed from the dried samples.
The dried samples shall be grinded to obtain a semi-fine powder (passing through a 1 mm mesh sieve).
The powder may be stored for 10 weeks at below 25 °C in a dark, dry place.
3.2. Reagents and extraction solution
Reagents

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, pure for chromatographic purposes,

squalane, pure for chromatographic purposes, as an internal standard.
Extraction solution

35 mg of squalane per 100 ml hexane.
3.3. Extraction of THC
100 mg of the powdered test sample shall be weighed, be placed in a centrifuge tube and 5 ml of extraction solution shall be added containing the internal standard.
The sample shall be placed in an ultrasound bath and be left for 20 minutes. It shall be centrifuged for 5 minutes at 3 000 r.p.m. and then the supernatant THC solution shall be removed. The solution shall be injected into the chromatograph and a quantitative analysis shall be carried out.
3.4. Gas chromatography
(a) Apparatus

gas chromatograph with a flame ionisation detector and a split/splitless injector,

column allowing good separation of cannabinoids, for example a glass capillary column 25 m long and 0,22 mm in diameter impregnated with a 5 % non-polar phenyl-methyl-siloxane phase.
(b) Calibration ranges
At least three points for procedure A and five points for procedure B, including points 0,04 and 0,50 mg/ml THC in extraction solution.
(c) Experimental conditions
The following conditions are given as an example for the column referred to in (a):

oven temperature 260 °C,

injector temperature 300 °C,

detector temperature 300 °C.
(d) Volume injected: 1 μl.
4. Results
The findings shall be expressed to two decimal places in grams of THC per 100 grams of analytical sample dried to constant weight. A tolerance of 0,03 g per 100 g shall apply.

Procedure A: one determination per test sample.
However, where the result obtained is above the limit laid down in Article 32(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, a second determination shall be carried out per analysis sample and the mean value of the two determinations shall be taken as the result.

Procedure B: the result shall correspond to the mean value of two determinations per test sample.

ANNEX II

ANNEX X
Conversion and weighting factors referred to in Article 46(3)
Features
Conversion factor
(m/tree to m2)
Weighting factor
Ecological focus area
(if both factors are applied)
Land lying fallow (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1
1 m2
Terraces (per 1 m)
2
1
2 m2
Landscape features:

Hedges/wooded strips/trees in line (per 1 m)
5
2
10 m2

Isolated tree (per tree)
20
1,5
30 m2

Field copses (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1,5
1,5 m2

Ponds (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1,5
1,5 m2

Ditches (per 1 m)
5
2
10 m2

Traditional stone walls (per 1 m)
1
1
1 m2

Other features not listed above but protected under GAEC7, SMR 2 or SMR 3 (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1
1 m2
Buffer strips and field margins (per 1 m)
6
1,5
9 m2
Hectares of agro-forestry (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1
1 m2
Strips of eligible hectares along forest edges (per 1 m)

Without production
6
1,5
9 m2
With production
6
0,3
1,8 m2
Areas with short rotation coppice (per 1 m2)
n.a.
0,3
0,3 m2
Afforested areas as referred to in Article 32(2)(b)(ii) (per 1 m2)
n.a.
1
1 m2
Areas with catch crops or green cover (per 1 m2)
n.a.
0,3
0,3 m2
Areas with nitrogen-fixing crops (per 1 m2)
n.a.
0,7
0,7 m2
Conversion and weighting factors referred to in Article 46(3) to be applied to features included in the equivalent practices as listed in Section III of Annex IX
Equivalent ecological focus area
Similar standard ecological focus area
Conversion factor
Weighting factor
Ecological focus area (if both factors are applied)
(1)
Ecological set-aside (per 1 m2)
Land lying fallow
n.a.
1
1 m2
(2)
Creation of “buffer zones” (per 1 m)
Buffer strips and field margins
6
1,5
9 m2
(3)
Management of uncultivated buffer strips and field margins (per 1 m)
Buffer strips and field margins
6
1,5
9 m2
(4)
Borders, in-field strips and patches:

Borders, in-field strips (per 1 m)
Buffer strips and field margins
6
1,5
9 m2
Patches (per 1 m2)
Field copses
n.a.
1,5
1,5 m2
(5)
Management of landscape features:

Isolated tree (per tree)
Isolated tree
20
1,5
30 m2
Trees in line (per 1 m)
Hedges/wooded strips/trees in line
5
2
10 m2
Group of trees/Field copses (per 1 m2)
Field copses
n.a.
1,5
1,5 m2
Hedgerows (per 1m)
Hedges/wooded strips/trees in line
5
2
10 m2
Riparian woody vegetation (per 1m)
Hedges/wooded strips/trees in line
5
2
10 m2
Terraces (per 1m)
Terraces
2
1
2 m2
Stone walls (per 1m)
Traditional stone walls
1
1
1 m2
Ditches (per 1m)
Ditches
5
2
10 m2
Ponds (per 1 m2)
Ponds
n.a.
1,5
1,5 m2
(6)
Keeping arable peaty or wet soils under grass (no use of fertilisers and no use of plant protection products) (per 1 m2)
Land lying fallow
n.a.
1
1 m2
(7)
Production on arable land with no use of fertiliser and/or plant protection products, and not irrigated, not sown with the same crop two years in a row (per 1 m2)
Areas with short rotation coppice; Strips along forest edges with production; Areas with nitrogen-fixing crops
n.a.
0,3
0,7 for nitrogen-fixing crops
0,3 m2
0,7 m2
(8)
Conversion of arable land into permanent grassland (per 1 m2)
Land lying fallow
n.a.
1
1 m2


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The chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine Dr. Franjo Grotenherman, has entered an “indefinite” hunger strike until Germany “decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.”

On August 17, 2017, I entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.

On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as bureaucratic. Therefore, a treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed treatment.

The legislator has taken a great step into the right direction. However, many patients are still dependent on a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions. This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must end.

Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a criminal case in the case of a „minor debt“. This possibility is mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis. I urge that criminal proceedings should in principle also be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons. The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as with other medical treatments, also by a doctor.

I also strongly support the uncomplicated access of patients to standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. I am not aware of a convincing argument by which patients‘ prosecution can be maintained. A corresponding amendment to the Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.

Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne. Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration (MCD), as well as author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages ​​on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids, their pharmaco logy and toxicology. Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the Health Committee of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most recently in September 2016.

franjo


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Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, one of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need. –

franjo

German Cannabis Expert Announces Hunger Strike

Germany has made great strides improving its cannabis laws in recent years, but there is still so much work to be done, as too many patients are still without safe access to a safe medicine. There was understandably great hope that Germany would start treating marijuana the same as any other medicine, after the country implemented an expansion of the burgeoning medical program, but too many bureaucratic hurdles remain. Hoping to fulfill the practical notion that cannabis should be treated the same as any other prescribed medicine, Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, on of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need.

I had the honor of meeting Dr. Grotenhermen when he spoke at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin last year, and the man’s dedication to the cause, and expert knowledge, were evident to all in attendance. I hope when the ICBC returns to Berlin in 2018, that Dr. Grotenhermen can reflect on how his efforts have successfully brought medical cannabis fully into the medical mainstream.

Below is a press release sent out by Dr. Grotenhermen announcing his hunger strike: 

Cannabis expert starts hunger strike

Rüthen: On August 17, 2017, the German cannabis expert Franjo Grotenhermen entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.

On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as too bureaucratic. Therefore, treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed treatment.

“The legislature has taken a great step into the right direction,” explains Grotenhermen. “However, many patients are still dependent on a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions. This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must end. ”

Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a criminal case in the case of a “minor debt”. This possibility is mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis. Grotenhermen urges that criminal proceedings should in principle also be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons. “The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as with other medical treatments, also by a doctor,” explains Grotenhermen.

He also strongly supports the uncomplicated access of patients to standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. “I am not aware of a convincing argument by which patients’ prosecution can be maintained,” adds Grotenhermen. A corresponding amendment to the Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.

From 7 pm a 21-minute video will be presented on a special website (www.cannabis-hungerstrike.de), in which Grotenhermen explains in detail the background and goals of his hunger strike. On May 12, 2017, he had already begun a short 8-day “warning hunger strike”, by which he wanted to draw attention to a problem associated with the new law.

Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne. Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and
Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration eV (MCD), as well as author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of the hemp plant and cannabinoids, their pharmacology and toxicology. Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the
Health Committee of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most recently in September 2016.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon’s cannabis le 

http://marijuanapolitics.com/german-cannabis-expert-announces-hunger-strike/