With CBD and hemp-based products increasing in popularity, more and more companies in Poland are starting to get involved in the industry. The country is also attracting foreign investment from those looking to start a business in Poland in the CBD industry.
The laws about CBD in Poland are quite complex though and every cannabis business is required to ensure they are compliant. Here is the vital information you need to know.
Cannabis in Poland
Cannabis is split into two divisions: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Cannabis Sativa is a plant produced for cannabidiol (CBD). it is officially called industrial hemp, but also goes by the name of fibrous hemp or true hemp. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. On the other hand, Cannabis Indica is a plant that contains high levels of psychoactive compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These act as hallucinogens and therefore are considered illegal in Poland. All chemicals produced in cannabis are called cannabinoids. The two most common substances are THC and CBD. In order to meet safety standards in Poland, substances extracted from hemp must not contain more than 0.2% THC. As noted by Daily CBD Mag, this is similar to the US’ restriction of 0.3% THC.
CBD Businesses In Poland
The number of businesses associated with Cannabis Sativa and CBD is growing rapidly in Poland. The main types can be categorized into the following:
- Production, cultivation of Cannabis Sativa (fibrous hemp);
- Sourcing and merchandising of wholesale fibrous hemp;
- Processing fibrous hemp for food, beverages, diet supplements, medical products;
- Retail sale of hemp and CBD based products.
Production, Cultivation Of CBD-Based Hemp In Poland
It is illegal to grow hemp plants for your own purposes in Poland. It can only be cultivated for the needs of the textile, chemical, cellulose and paper, food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, building materials and seed industries. It also requires concession which can only be granted to people that meet the following conditions:
- They must have a clean criminal record for the offenses referred to in art. 63, 64 or 65 of the Polish Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction
- The hemp may be cultivated only in designated areas, on the basis of a permit for cultivation, using the seed of the elite or certified category;
- Any cultivation contract agreed must conclude with an entity authorized by the Regional Marshal to purchase the hemp;
- All technical and infrastructure measures must ensure proper security against the use of hemp for unlawful purposes.
If the Polish Authority recognizes that the CBD hemp is cultivated on a different surface, uses other seeds or is done so without the required contracts, the grower may receive an order to destroy the crops immediately. Therefore, it’s vital that all records of purchase and labels of seeds are kept safe.
Also, the Polish Authority will withdraw concession if it finds you have broken the terms and conditions of business activity set out in the regulation on counteracting drug addiction or in the permit.
Illegal cultivation can result in the following penalties:
- A fine for illegal cultivation of fibrous hemp
- Imprisonment for up to 3 years for illegal cultivation of hemp other than fibrous hemp. This can increase to 8 years for significant amounts.
Sourcing And Merchandising Of Wholesale Fibrous Hemp
Sourcing unprocessed hemp in Poland requires concession. The permit allows you to purchase fibrous hemp and includes being able to acquire it from entities authorized to cultivate it. A contract for the collection of fibrous hemp is one of the conditions for acquiring a purchasing hemp permit in Poland. The contract is an obligation to purchase the whole or part of the harvest.
Processing Fibrous Hemp For Food, Beverages, Diet Supplements, Medical Products
You can only process fibrous hemp if you meet the above criteria ie you have concession to cultivate or purchase Cannabis Sativa. You must also notify the Regional Marshall about any plans you have for processing CBD hemp in Poland and provide them with technical and infrastructure resources.
The next step depends on the final product that comes from processing the fibrous hemp. Cannabis Sativa can only be processed in Poland for the needs of the textile, chemical, cellulose and paper, food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, building materials and seed industries (as first noted in a previous section).
For example, if you plan on processing fibrous hemp to be used in a food product in Poland, you must fulfill all the requirements for food-processing establishments. These must be entered in the Register of Establishments and the result is subject to the official control of authorities of the State Sanitary Inspection.
4. Retail Sale Of Hemp And CBD-Based Products
There is a wide range of CBD-base products in Poland. These include food products and beverages, CBD oil, medical products and supplements, cosmetics, dried hemp, etc.
All these products must be classified as of non-animal origin in Poland. As such, the retail sale of hemp and CBD-based products in this country is regulated as every activity of retail sales of food products.
Due to the Polish Act of Food and Nutrition Safety, you must submit an application to the Polish Register of Establishments Subject to Official Control of the Bodies of the State Sanitary Inspection. It must be submitted to the competent State Sanitary Inspector within 14 days before the start of the planned activity. If you don’t submit an application, you could face a fine between PLN 1000 to 5000.
CBD-based products must be labeled and identifiable by appropriate means. All labeling must meet the requirements set out by:
- The Polish Act on food and Nutrition Safety
- The Polish Regulation of the Minister of Health on the Composition and Labeling of Dietary Supplements
- The Polish Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the Labeling of Foodstuffs
- The Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 20, 2006 on nutrition and health claims related to food
- The Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted food health claims, other than claims referring to the reduction of disease risk and the development and health of children.