Production of industrial cannabis in Serbia
Growing industrial hemp can be very profitable, and in our country there is a growing interest in growing this crop. We can use the hemp plant whole, but it uses for now only flowers and grains in Serbia. However, if you grow this plant, you must harmonize the production of hemp with the Ordinance on the conditions for growing hemp.
Experts from the food industry from all over the world have included cannabis in the list of trends in nutrition that will be popular in 2020. Also, often you can hear that hemp is the plant of the future.
It published the Rulebook on the conditions for growing hemp in our country in the “Official Gazette” on July 24, 2013. Since then, this rulebook is the only legal regulation governing the cultivation of hemp in Serbia.
This rulebook regulates which variety of hemp we can grow in Serbia, which conditions we must meet by a legal and natural person to grow industrial hemp, but also what are the costs, manner and deadline for issuing a permit for growing cannabis.
Namely, in Serbia, only hemp varieties that belong to the hemp species (Cannabis Sativa L) and whose content of substances from the group of tetrahydrocannabinol is less than 0.3% may be grown.
We can grow hemp only for fiber production, seed production for animal nutrition, seed quality testing, and its marketing. For sowing hemp, seeds that have been produced, processed, packaged and declared under the law governing seeds must be used. Only a person registered in the Register of Producers of Seeds, Seedlings, Mycelium of Edible and Medicinal Fungi can get a permit for growing hemp in Serbia.
The European Cannabis Report also cites the work of the Commission for Psychoactive Controlled Substances as one of the principal reasons for the sharp attitude of the Serbian government regarding the use of cannabis. The report cites IRKA (Initiative to Change Cannabis Legislation), the work of the Green Party and the fact that the Enough is Enough movement advocated the legalization of medical cannabis as positive examples of advocating the legalization of medical cannabis.
As the most important field for the use of medical cannabis in Serbia, The European Cannabis Report highlights the fact that Serbia has one of the highest rates of diabetes in Europe, and that the costs of treating diabetes are high for the average citizen. Research conducted so far shows how cannabis use can stabilize sugar levels and relieve pain and inflammation, suggesting that medical cannabis can be widely used in Serbia, even if we consider only its potential in treating diabetes. An example of positive progress is Serbia’s cooperation with the Canadian company Eviana Healthcare for the production of medical products based on hemp, according to The European Cannabis Report.
Besides medical cannabis, a great economic opportunity for Serbia lies in the use’s legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. The mentioned report also states the first study on drug consumption, which was conducted in Serbia in 2014. The study included over 5,000 respondents, and the results showed that drug use was at a lower level than the EU average – about 8% of adult respondents in Serbia had ever used narcotics. Cannabis is most often consumed, and its use is more common in men than in women.
If the trend of liberalizing attitudes regarding the use of cannabis continues in Europe, Serbia will also develop a new industry. The most important above all is to change the disputed laws (which seems far away), which would be the beginning of a different attitude of the state towards cannabis, which would allow Serbia to join many other countries that are slowly starting to see cannabis as a potentially useful medical tool and investment space and new job creation.