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Cannabis or hemp? Is Spain making the same mistakes as Portugal?

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Hemp or cannabis? Photo: DR

The Guardia Civil recently announced biggest cannabis bust ever in Spain, but soon afterwards several voices came to contest the action of the Spanish authority, saying that it was not cannabis, but industrial hemp. Confusion between hemp and cannabis is well known to the Portuguese, where the same mistake of confusing the two plants and treating farmers as if they were drug dealers🇧🇷 In Portugal, the GNR even admitted to Cannareporter not being able to distinguish hemp from cannabis🇧🇷 The situation seems to be repeating itself now in Spain.

Barry, Pawel, Hugo ou Patrick are just a few examples of stories of confusion between hemp and cannabis that happened in the last years in Portugal and that the Cannareporter accompanied, under strong contestação de agricultores and merchants. Large-scale seizures, arrests of hemp farmers accused of trafficking, to later prove that, after all, it was not a question of narcotics, leading courts to dismiss cases for lack of evidence of crime🇧🇷 About two weeks ago, the Portuguese Judiciary Police was also forced by the Criminal Instruction Court to return 40kg of hemp flowers to Patrick Martins, who reiterated that hemp flowers cannot be considered narcotics.

Confusion repeated in Spain?

On the 5th of November, the Guardia Civil announced the seizure of 32 tons of cannabis in several cities as the largest ever in the country. However, Francisco Gómez, manager of the E-Canna Farming, assured the newspaper EL ESPANOL that your company is legal and that you have all the documentation from the Ministry of Agriculture and other administrations that authorized the business. In an interview with Anita Krepp, a journalist at Prohibition Partners, Francisco said that “there is a national persecution regarding the criminalization and stigmatization of cannabis. For them, anything related to hemp is an offense and this is not the case; the authorities are committing abuses. What is happening here is prevarication”, denounced Francisco, who spent three days in jail and would eventually be released.

'If it's drugs and I'm a criminal, arrest me tomorrow. But if it's not drugs, return the flowers tomorrow", claimed Francisco in statements to Prohibition Partners.

A source who preferred to remain anonymous told Cannareporter that "if it really was the biggest cannabis bust, how come the people who were arrested are now all free?"

The Cannareporter has asked the Guardia Civil for further clarification, but so far has not received a response. We have also sent questions and requests for documents and/or authorizations or certificates of analysis proving that the seized material is hemp to E-Canna Farming, but so far we have not received a response nor have we been able to confirm that it is, in fact, only hemp.

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