By Emily Ledger
Hempen, the largest Hemp farming co-operation in the UK, received the news last week that their Home Office license had been revoked. As a result, the farm was required to destroy their crops in order to stay within the law. Original estimates of the loss equalled £200,000. However, Hempen has released a statement outlining the further implications of the ruling.
The statement, released on the co-op’s Facebook page, and in a blog post on their website, takes into account the possible revenue of the crop if the CBD rules didn’t apply. UK Hemp farmers are prohibited from extracting CBD from their own crop, or from imported Hemp. Yet, both Hemp in it’s growing state, and CBD products are both legal in the UK.
The mainly volunteer-powered, not-for-profit co-op claimed that, if the crop had been permitted to be used for CBD extraction, it could have fetched in over £2.4 million. Hempen state that the figure was calculated using the average retail price of CBD products.
Hempen also pointed out that the sum would have brought in £480,000 in UK tax. If the figure is accurate, the event may become an effective case study in the argument for Hemp legislation reform.
In a blog post on their website, Hempen wrote:
“The 40 acres lost to us this week could have been transformed into £2.4 million as CBD at retail price, for a not-for-profit farming co-operative. Of this, £480,000 would have been tax for the UK government!”
Hempen also revealed that it had been partnering with Coventry University to research the potential biodiversity benefits of Hemp. Hemp is known to have many potential benefits for soil quality and CO2 extraction. However, there are few scientific studies on the biodiversity of hemp.
Barbara Smith, Associate Professor at the Agricultural Ecology and Public Science Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, said:
“It is very disappointing to hear that the crop at Hempen is to be destroyed this afternoon. This Friday we were due to begin data collection from a new experiment set up by Hempen, which would have investigated the benefits of different hemp varieties for biodiversity, both above and below ground.
“We are devastated this important opportunity has been lost this year.”
Many people have expressed their anger and solidarity with Hempen following the news that broke yesterday.