The recent legislation addresses THC limit, licenses, and extracts.
In late July 2023, the Albanian Parliament passed a bill making industrial hemp and medical cannabis legal (1). The legislation passed with a vote of 69-23 and also called for the creation of a National Cannabis Control Agency, which would regulate the cultivation of the plants and the manufacturing of products (1). The agency will also establish a Licensing Commission, and applicants must comply with certain requirements–in experience in the industry, for example– though several sources reportedly noted that no company currently complies with these requirements (1).
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limit is set at .8%, the law stated and no limit was given for the amount of hemp that can be grown for grain and fiber (2). Albania legalized hemp in 2004 and the new law sees all hemp extracts as medical cannabis, though the extracts may only be produced for export markets (2).
“We believe that Albania’s new industrial hemp regulations will provide a sustainable economic future for agriculture-dependent rural communities,” Joe Spencer, Chairman of the National Albanian Hemp Industry Association said (2). “Development of the hemp grain and fiber industry will not only increase agriculture employment but also employment within the manufacturing industries.”
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama had announced in June 2022 a draft of a law to legalize and control the cultivation of cannabis (3). Opposition to the legislation included MP Enkelejd Alibeaj, who argued that it would enable more drug trafficking (3). “The criteria and procedures defined in the draft law clarify that the licenses for this activity will only benefit Rama’s friends and allies,” Alibeaj stated (3). “Everyone knows that in a country where criminality and corruption are at the highest levels, keeping this activity under control is impossible.”
Albania has been called a major drug trafficking hub in Europe (1,3). Additionally, in 2022, Albania was listed in a report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime as seventh in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis out of 154 countries (3).