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Spain: Hemp Technological Pole created in Extremadura

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O National Agro-Food Technological Center of Extremadura (CTAEX) and the hemp company Bhalutek Hemp started a Hemp Technological Pole. The group has more than 20 companies and will promote the development and comprehensive use of the hemp plant, providing access to cultivation and processing technologies.

The project aims to develop the country's Extremadura region as an innovation center for industrial hemp, establishing the region as a national reference center for hemp research. In statement, CTAEX and Bhalutek Hemp refer that they hope to foster new public and private ventures, share know-how among members and promote research, while providing training for scientists, technicians and farmers.

The recent technology center claims to have already hired 21 members since the initiative was launched, including the University of Malaga and the University of Extremadura. the portuguese company KannaBeira it is also integrated in the group of associates of the technological pole.

“Industrial hemp can offer an opportunity to regenerate rural areas in our region, with a sustainable approach from an environmental, economic and agronomic point of view, thanks to its characteristics and multiple uses,” said CTAEX, noting that the legal framework and Spain's regulatory framework needs to change for the industry to mature and flourish. “Given the current exceptional health crisis situation, it is very likely that the economic recession will worsen in the coming years, demanding concrete responses and decisive actions”, continues the statement.

Juan José Manzanero, president of CTAEX, said that these changes are necessary to allow the “complete development of the sector, with full legal guarantees”, similar to the governments of other European countries that have developed their industrial hemp sectors.

The initiative has the support of both the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, and the delegate of the government in the region, Yolanda García Seco. CTAEX, based in Badajoz, Spain, is a non-profit private R&D center supported by an association in the agri-food sector. The company has experience in the development of R&D projects at national level in Spain.

Bhalutek, based in Malaga, has specialized in hemp genetics since 2012. The company also carries out scientific research into extraction and purification processes and equipment, as well as consulting for clients in Switzerland, Australia and Uruguay.

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