Piotr Kochanski, Senior Managing Partner and Founding Partner at Kochański & Partners, speaks to My Company Polska on hemp market developments:
“The global hemp market is one of the fastest growing sectors, with Cannabis sativa being a driving force for the economy in a number of EU Member States. It can be grown almost anywhere, regardless of climatic conditions,” says Piotr Kochański, Senior Managing Partner and Founding Partner at Kochański & Partners.
So why has the hemp industry share in the Polish economy been so marginal up to now?
“Regulatory aspects are a fundamental barrier to its growth. Although Cannabis sativa is characterized by a low concentration of psychoactive THC (unlike Cannabis indica), its cultivation in Poland currently entails numerous restrictions. To grow Cannabis sativa, one needs to obtain a cultivation permit and enter into a cultivation contract. Such plantations are subject to constant inspections; failure to comply with the regulations may result in a fine or even imprisonment of up to 8 years. Strict legal regulations and ambiguity in their interpretation may lead to domestic processing being crowded out by product imports from EU Member States where the industry status has been fully regulated.”
“We need to sort out the legal status and consolidate Cannabis sativa regulations. The U.S. hemp boom has already reached the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Euromonitor experts forecast that the CBD market in Poland may reach PLN 5 billion by 2025. This is a considerable amount of money that domestic processors could generate for the economy, if only they were provided with a favourable regulatory environment,” stresses Piotr Kochański.
“The industry has found hemp very versatile – it is inexpensive and literally the whole plant can be used for industrial purposes. Apart from traditional textile use, hemp is also used in the paper, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, chemical, automotive and construction industries and even in the power generation sector. Hemp products are also fully biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly,” adds Piotr Kochański.