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Textile or Industrial Hemp

Brief history from the ban on its re-cultivation

Textile or industrial hemp has been cultivated since ancient times mainly for its fibers. It then evolved into one of the most important olive and textile crops in many countries of the world until the 18th century. From the end of the 18th century, with the gradual disappearance of sailing ships (the sails of which were made of hemp fabric), the emergence of new competitive crops in the colonies and the dynamic growth of cotton began its decline. The development of the manufacture of cheap paper from forest timber as well as the emergence since the beginning of the 20th century of synthetic petrochemical fibers (nylon) caused a new decline in its cultivation. The final blow came in the 1930s with its ban on America, identifying it with indian cannabis in terms of legislation.

The last cultivation in our country of about 2,000 acres was in the area of Aliartos for the production of building materials of the company PANOBEL. The buildings from the cannavourgies of Edessa that used cannabis from the plain of Giannitsa, as well as the factory for the production of cannabis ropes from Dessylas in Corfu, with the import of the raw material from abroad (the last years of its operation), still exist to remind us of this.

The ban on its cultivation in our country has become the one. 1993 by Law 2161/93 Government Gazette 119/A/26-7-1993 article 10 paragraph f) Cultivates or harvests any plant of the genus hemp, while until then the relevant laws forbade the cultivation or harvesting of any variety of cannabis, Since the 70s in the member countries of the European Union began to revive its cultivation for three reasons.

1st New, modern varieties were created, technology was developed regarding the cultivation, the processing of the plant as well as the production of products and by-products from its industrialization. It should be remembered here that the entire above-ground part of the plant is usable and from this thousands of different products can be produced.

Indicatively, we mention:

  • Fibers for fabrics that can be used for clothing, upholstery, ropes, etc. and are characterized as hypoallergenic.
  • Paper that needs seven times less chemical derivatives of sulfur and minimal chlorine for its bleaching compared to pulp from forest wood. Four acres of hemp produce as much pulp as an acre of forest. And while the one-year cannabis plant provides an annual harvest, the forests that are felled take tens of years to restore.
  • Very light building materials that “breathe”, with intense thermal and acoustic insulation and which certify the energy condition of the building.
  • Biodegradable plastics.
  • Paints, varnishes, dyes. For thousands of years almost all colors and varnishes were produced or contained oil from its seeds. From 1937 onwards, dyes of natural origin were replaced by petrochemical products with devastating effects on the environment.
  • Types of cosmetics (creams, soaps, aromatherapy oils, etc.).
  • Foodstuffs.
  • Energy. It is one of the fastest growing biomasses that can be converted into methane, methanol or liquid fuel.

2nd In 1988, science discovered in the brain the receptors of cannabis, i.e. the locks with which cannabis unlocks its biological functions… and these receptors were more than any other receptor! In 1992, the Endocannabinoid (Anantamide) was discovered, made by the body itself to unlock its receptors, and the existence of a biological system throughout the body was subsequently confirmed: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). the mission that performs this Endocannabinoid system is the protection and maintenance of Homeostasis, i.e. the balance of internal and external environment, i.e. the maintenance of health. Phytocannabinoids mimic and enhance the action of ECS and therefore have such a wide therapeutic effect. When there is a deficiency of the ECS it seems that enhancing them with cannabis use is the best treatment.

3rd Recognition of the significant ecological benefit of cultivation. First of all, it has rapid growth and coverage of the field by acting as a weed suffocator, that is, as ecological “herbicide” that leaves the field clean for the next crop. In addition, less water is needed for irrigation than similar crops. In our country where native vegetation in irrigated crops is developed and harms production, hemp in crop rotation with cotton, corn, etc. can significantly reduce herbicide costs. Its contribution, in addition, to the treatment of the green worm in cotton and Diabrotica in corn can be decisive. Finally, with the reduced needs of cannabis in nitrogen fertilizers and irrigation, there will be savings in energy and chemicals.

In 1997, KANNABISHOP stores made their appearance in our country, selling ecological cannabis products made in member countries of the European Union and in which its cultivation was not only legal but was subsidized handsomely thanks to the European regulation for a common organization of flax and hemp. The course of the stores, however, following the prosecutions of the owners (and the seizures of the goods) with felony charges “For advertising drugs for profit” were brief Their lawsuits against the Greek State 20 years later have not yet been finalized. It should be remembered that at the same time the National Foundation for Agricultural Research and the Laboratory of Agriculture of the Agricultural University of Athens, with funding from the then Ministry of Agriculture, carried out a study (in 2000) on the prospects for the cultivation of fibre hemp in our country as an alternative proposal for the restructuring of crops and which a study recognized the advantages of the plant for agricultural production. and the economic benefit for the grower

The four questions of the MEPs of the Green Ecologists to the competent European committees on the refusal of our country to apply the European regulation in combination with questions from MPs to the co-competent ministries finally forced the Ministry of Justice with the Law. 4139/2013 article 1 para. 3 to separate hemp fibre. from addictive substances.. The joint ministerial decision of the Ministries of Justice and Rural Development that the law set as a condition for the start of its cultivation required another 9 questions and an event in the European Parliament to finally be signed in April 2016.

The Social Cooperative Enterprise KANNABIO was founded in April 2016 as soon as the JMD was signed setting out the terms and conditions for the cultivation of Sativa L. Cannabis with THC<,0.2% The Cooperative was founded by 5 people and at the moment 2 years later we list 20 members from all over Greece, with different specialties and skills. Our goal is to create a vertical production line, from the seed and the field to the shelf.The cultivation is carried out in collaboration with certified organic farmers, whom we encourage to participate in the cooperative in order to have benefits from the added value of the final product.

Two of its members proceeded to 2 of the first 4 crops that were made in 2016. One in Koufos municipality Platanias prefecture of Chania 1.5 acres and one in Psachna Evia 7 acres. Although the crops were overdue, however, the plant proved its potential.

In 2017 KANNAVIO cultivated 60 acres in Kokkina Magnesia and another 40 with cooperating farmers in various regions of the country. With the produced organic raw material, it processed the inflorescence and seed, creating the first Greek organic cannabis products such as hemp seed oil, protein flour and pasta, essential oil, rosewater, three beeswax ointments, soaps, hair and body cream as well as whole flowers or grated for decoction. The response of the people to the quality of the products was such that the production was exhausted before the harvest of the new production of 2018.

In 2018 it cultivated 160 acres and already most of the production has been harvested and will soon proceed to the production of new products.

Seraphim Kandylas

Owner of KANNABISHOP of Chania


Member of the Panhellenic Council of Green Ecologists.

The Green Greeks Magazine

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