In a shocking industry update, it has today been announced that Hempen, one of the UK’s largest Hemp farming cooperatives, losing its license to grow hemp in the UK, and will need to destroy its crops to stay within the law.
In fact, Hempen is looking at a loss of around £200,000 worth of hemp across 4-acres of land in Oxfordshire which has held a hemp license for four years.
Cultivating hemp is legal in the UK providing you have a licence – which the Home Office had no problem issuing previously. However due to a change in attitude and guidance led by the evolving CBD industry as regulators attempt to tame the wild west of CBD sales, the Home Office have been shedding more and more light on their thoughts on CBD products, last november making it clear that it was not in fact legal to extract CBD from UK-grown hemp flowers.
Under this new guidance Hempen shifted away from CBD production and instead focused on the stems and seeds of the hemp plant which have a multitude of uses, continuing to import CBD products from their European Partner.
But now they must stop producing hemp entirely, after their license was revoked by the Home Office last week.
The Hempen Co-operative was founded as a not-for-profit in 2015, to harness the power of hemp to create rural sustainable livelihoods. The vision is to cultivate a new hemp-based economy, finding alternative ways of operating for the health of people, community and planet, utilising hemp as a sustainable alternative to thousands of common and environmentally damaging products.
Hempen say they will continue to work with the Home Office on the appeals process, in the hopes of having their license reinstated, and will continue to supply UK-grown organic hemp products from other organic British hemp farms. To continue to supply customers with certified organic, fully traceable CBD products, Hempen will now import CBD from partners in Europe.
Hempen co-founder Patrick Gillett said: “In challenging economic times for British farmers, hemp is offering green shoots of hope as a rare crop that can pay for itself without subsidy. Instead of capitalising on the booming CBD industry, the Home Office’s bureaucracy is leading British farmers to destroy their own crops and millions of pounds’ worth of CBD flowers are being left to rot in the fields.” He added: “The government should move the responsibility of regulating farmers over to DEFRA and legislate to stop our CBD spending being sent abroad and be used to secure the future of British farming.”
We hope Hempen can appeal this decision which is severely damaging to their business model, and a dark shadow on hemp farming in the UK.