Monitoring poppy and fibrous hemp crops while taking into account the objective of combating drug addiction.
Parliamentary draft act amending the Act on Combating Drug Addiction and the Act on the National Centre for Agricultural Support.
According to the proposed amendment to the Act of 29 July 2005 on combating drug addiction (Journal of Laws of 2020, Item 2050, as amended):
— the obligation to monitor the cultivation of poppy and fibrous hemp crops applicable to commune heads (mayors, city presidents) competent for the place where the crop is situated is transferred to the National Centre for Agricultural Support (KOWR),
- a register of operators who grow or purchase poppy seeds or fibrous hemp shall be established. The register shall be kept by the KOWR.
Article 45 paragraph 2 lists the purposes for which low morphine poppy can be cultivated, and paragraph 3 lists the purposes and needs for which fibrous hemp can be grown. The list of needs and purposes has been extended to include, for example, the possibility of growing hemp for energy purposes, land reclamation, etc., including for personal use. Areas of low morphine poppy or fibrous hemp cultivated for personal use shall be limited to 100 hectares per year.
Entry in the poppy or fibrous hemp register kept by the KOWR shall be made at the request of the entity. In order to carry out the activity of growing or buying poppy seeds, entry in the poppy register is required. A condition for the cultivation or purchase of fibrous hemp shall be that it is entered in the fibrous hemp register.
An application by an entity intending to cultivate poppy seeds or fibrous hemp for entry in the register shall include, inter alia: the name and registered office of the operator, information on the area and location of the intended crop, the variety of poppy or fibrous hemp, the address of the poppy or hemp store, the purpose of the activity.
An entity wishing to cultivate or buy poppy or fibrous hemp shall apply to the KOWR for entry in the register only upon commencement of activities involving the cultivation or purchase of poppy or fibrous hemp. If in subsequent years the operator intends to continue its activity in this respect, it shall only submit to the KOWR information on changes in the conduct of that activity (e.g. change in the cultivated variety, area or location of the crop, the company with which supply contracts have been signed).
The producer or purchaser may inform the KOWR of the suspension of its activities. It may also request that it be removed from the register.
In addition, it was proposed to introduce provisions obliging the KOWR to carry out checks on producers and purchasers of poppy or fibrous hemp with regards to the information contained in the applications for registration and the crops cultivated.
The proposed amendments also lay down penalties for, inter alia: transmission of factually incorrect information in the application for registration, failure to provide information on changes in the data contained in the application, obstruction of checks. In the case of cultivation of poppy or fibrous hemp without entry in the register, without the use of seed from the basic category or certified category or in a manner incompatible with the objectives set out in the Act, the KOWR shall issue decisions to destroy the crops. On the other hand, if there is suspicion that the hemp grown, stored, bought or processed may be hemp other than fibrous, or poppy may be grown for purposes other than those listed in the Act, the KOWR shall notify the Police accordingly.
The above-mentioned provisions of the Act do not apply to the cultivation of poppy other than low-morphine and hemp other than fibrous hemp, carried out after obtaining authorisation from the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector by a scientific unit and by the Centre for the Varietal Examination of Cultivated Plants, within the framework of statutory activities (proposed Article 49).
The amendments to Article 49 of the current Act on Combating Drug Addiction aim to reorganise the existing legislation on cultivation of poppy seeds other than low-morphine and hemp other than fibrous hemp, carried out after obtaining authorisation from the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector by the scientific unit and the Centre for the Varietal Examination of Cultivated Plants. The amendments introduced are the result of past experience and
practice in the application of this provision. The draft clarifies, among other things, the provisions on the elements of the opinion drawn up by the police on how to secure cultivation against unauthorised access. In addition, provisions relating to the authorisation issued by the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector have been introduced, specifying the elements to be included and indicating the reasons for refusal and withdrawal. The Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector will also keep a register of the authorisations issued.