Hemp Food - Italy Sets Maximum THC Content

Author:Mr Riccardo Fruscalzo and Carlotta Busani (Trainee Solicitor)
Profession:Hogan Lovells
 
FREE EXCERPT

The use of hemp for the production of foodstuffs is contemplated by the Law No. 242 of 02 December 2016 ("Law 242/2016"), bearing provisions for the promotion of the hemp cultivation and of the agro-industrial hemp chain in Italy.

The use of hemp for the production of foodstuffs is contemplated by the Law No. 242 of 02 December 2016 ("Law 242/2016"), bearing provisions for the promotion of the hemp cultivation and of the agro-industrial hemp chain in Italy.

As noted in an earlier comment (see our recent comment here), the Law 242/2016 does not contain a regulation on the admitted THC content in food, while referring to the implementing regulation of the Ministry of Health. When the Law 242/2016 entered in force no THC was admitted in food.

On January 15, 2020, a decree issued by the Ministry of Health set the maximum amount of THC that is allowed in food (hereinafter "THC Decree") and provided guidance on the appropriate method of analysis.

The THC Decree

The THC Decree sets forth a list of hemp food products (Annex I) that are in the scope of the new regulation. These are the seeds (including mashed and grinded seeds other than flour) and hemp-derived ingredients that are obtained from seeds, i.e. flour and oil.

Hemp food products listed in Annex I may be placed on the market upon the condition that the THC content does not exceed the following thresholds set out in Annex II:

seeds and flour: 2.0 mg total THC on 1 kg of product; oil obtained from hemp seeds: 5,0 mg total THC on 1 kg of product; food supplements containing ingredients derived from hemp: 2,0 mg THC total on 1 kg of product. Total THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is defined in the THC Decree as the concentration resulting from the sum of the concentrations of the substance "Δ9 -THC ((-)-trans- Δ9 -THC)" and the non-active acid precursor "Δ9 -THCA-A (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A)".

As far as the controls are concerned, the sampling must be performed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 401/2006, while the analysis should be carried out according to the Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/2115 of 1 December 2016 on the monitoring of the presence of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, its precursors and other cannabinoids in food.

The list of hemp food products in Annex I should not be regarded as exhaustive. Other hemp food products could be placed on the market, as it is made clear by Article 5(2) of the THC Decree. However, hemp food products that are not listed in Annexes I and...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL