Hemp cultivation in Spain has been one of the great industries of the past. For many years hemp fibre was the economic sustenance of thousands of Spanish families, thanks to the excellent climate and fertile land of this European country. But this source of income was affected by changes in the law, promoted by the economic interests of third countries. Would you like to know how important hemp was and can be in Spain?
⭐ Brief history of industrial hemp in Spain
The cultivation of hemp plants for fibre in Spain dates back several centuries, approximately from the 5th century BC. The excellent climate of this land for the cultivation, added to the infinity of utilities that can be given to that plant, caused it to spread quickly throughout its geography.
It has been proven that on Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to America, the sails and other components of the ships were made of this material. At that time in the Middle Ages, the Spanish kingdom became a worldwide power, thanks to hemp, among other things.
In this country it was cultivated in many places: Andalusia, Aragon, Galicia, Catalonia or Valencian Community. Still today you can visit the hemp museum in the town of Callosa del Segura, in the province of Alicante, this shows how important hemp cultivation was in some parts of Spain.
But everything changed during the 1930s and 1940s, when marijuana was banned in the USA and synthetic fibres such as nylon appeared. From that country a war began to exterminate hemp all over the world, and Spain would be no exception.
⛳ Hemp cultivation in Spain nowadays
Spain belongs to the European Union, which approved the cultivation of hemp for industrial use in 1999, as long as a number of rules are met. Spanish companies that want to plant hemp can even apply for subsidies granted by the E.U. and can plant up to 25 different varieties of hemp seed.
It is currently making a comeback thanks to the medicinal components of the plant, mainly. Cultivation for fibres is not very profitable, but there are more and more products on the market that contain CBD, so there is a rebound in this sector.
A few years ago, the Spanish Association of Hemp Producers and Processors (AEPTC) was founded in Granada (Andalusia) to enable small businesses to join forces, and at the same time make known a unique model of sustainable development, while advising new companies that want to enter a sector that continues to grow.
✨ Hemp companies in Spain
Some of the most important companies in the industry have entered the medical market, either directly or through third parties. There have even been cases like Cafina S.L. which after obtaining the license to produce medical cannabis has been absorbed by the giant Canopy Growth from Canada
The most notorious case is that of Alcaliber S.L. belonging to the Torreal group, which was sold to Linneo Health and has already harvested medical marijuana in Spain. This company is dedicated to the production of morphine and theine, with Bayer as its main customer, and now also the German cannabis market.
However, there are still companies that grow industrial hemp in Spain to obtain seed. The nutritional power of hemp has always been known, but thanks to the trend of superfoods these days they are consumed like never before. Among the most important seedlings in the country are the Galihemp cooperative in Lugo, Celulosa de Levante in Tarragona, Agrofibra in Barcelona, Agrosa semillas in Guadalajara and the Taller Textil de Triste in Huesca.
👌 Legislation for planting hemp in Spain
To be able to have your legal hemp plantation in Spain, it is necessary to fulfill 5 indispensable requirements:
- Request authorization from your local agricultural council.
- Buy seed of certified varieties by the European Union.
- Present the certification of the seeds to the local agricultural regional office, together with a report on the use and final destination of the product.
- Register the plantation in the general registry of agricultural production, also presenting the memory of use and final destination.
- Inform in different Civil Guard and Seprona offices in the area
☕ Licenses to grow medicinal hemp in Spain
In the case of Spanish producers of hemp for medicinal uses permits are a little more complicated. The competences in this sense go from the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Health, and whenever you want to obtain CBD, or create products with medicinal properties, you need the approval of the Spanish agency of medicine and health products.
Nowadays, it is not easy to get a licence to produce medical cannabis in Spain, only 5% of all applications have been granted in recent years. We hope that this may change in the short term, as other countries are regulating the sector and business opportunities are multiplying.
Spain needs serious regulation of the sector, at a time in history like this, when we cannot clear more forests, we cannot release more CO2, new jobs and economic activities need to be created, we need more sustainable biodegradable materials and, above all, the number of patients who need medical cannabis to live better, we cannot afford to keep this sacred plant banned or super-controlled. If you liked this article, we would appreciate it if you could share it with your networks.