24 June 1998
EU crackdown on rogue cannabis farmers

THE European Union is set to get tough with rogue farmers claiming subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to grow cannabis.

Farm ministers are expected to back proposals tightening controls on aid for hemp, a member of the cannabis family grown mainly for industrial uses. They are also considering cuts in subsidy levels.

The move follows a fourfold increase in the land used to produce hemp in the last four years. The European Commission believes some farmers are claiming the hemp subsidies of Ecu750 (£497) an acre to grow cannabis to sell illegally for “recreational” purposes.

It is also concerned that the subsidy regime enables “premium hunters” to make money out of growing hemp, even if they cannot sell it.

  • Financial Times 24/06/98 page 2 (News Digest)