Danish farmers interested in growing cannabis – The Post

Danish farmers interested in growing cannabis

The organisation representing the farming and food industries of Denmark wants to explore the industrial potential of growing marijuana

Cannabis growing in Colorado, where the plant has been legalised both for industrial and recreational purposes (photo: Pixabay)
June 18th, 2015 11:30 am| by Lucie Rychla

The Danish Agriculture and Food Council wants to legalise the production of cannabis for industrial purposes just like it has been done in several states in the US.

The organisation wants a cannabis commission established to look into the plant’s industrial potential.

A billion-dollar industry in the US
“Cannabis use is often debated here in Denmark, but what we need to do, once and for all, is to analyse all the opportunities and risks, and to bust the myths, so we can find out if we could have a significant cannabis industry here, like in the United States,” stated Lars Hvidtfelt, the vice chairman of the Agriculture and Food Council.

“Hemp [a term used to refer to cannabis the plant,as opposed to cannabis the drug] can be used in building materials, clothing, medicine and recreationally, so the potential both for agriculture and industry is enormous. However, it requires that we as a society agree this is the way we want to go. Seeing that growing cannabis has become a billion-dollar industry in the US, I simply don’t think we can afford not to explore our options.”

READ MORE: Denmark’s pot business is booming

Current law may have to be changed
Hvidtfelt explained that today farmers are only allowed to grow hemp containing a maximum of 0.2 percent of THC – the chemical substance responsible for cannabis’s psychological effects.

However, in order to make medicine from the plant, higher levels of THC are necessary and the laws would have to be changed.

Politicians willing to look into the matter
Political representatives from both the right and left blocs are open to investigating the industrial potential of cannabis.

“Enhedslisten supports the proposal,” said Pernille Skipper, a member of the party who also favours decriminalising the drug.

“From international experience, we know that neither very harsh penalisation nor legalisation affect consumption among citizens.”

READ MORE: Politicians open to legalising cannabis for medical use

Potential for boosting Danish economy 
Hvidtfelt stressed the council was not interested in debating whether people should be allowed to use cannabis legally or not, but merely wants to explore the industrial opportunities of growing the plant as something that could contribute to Denmark’s’ economic growth.

In the US, 21 states have opted to decriminalise cannabis for medical use, and in the state of Colorado they have even chosen to legalise the plant for recreational use, allowing any citizen to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.