Navarra-based institutions create an association to group and coordinate all the actors that operate with industrial or medicinal hemp in Navara; promote cooperation between companies, research centers and institutions for the growth of the sector; create, consolidate and enhance a sectorial image for all economic and research activity; or facilitate and coordinate sectorial relations at national and international level.
The Government of Navarra approved its incorporation to the Navarra Association for Hemp Research (ANIC), promoted by the Department of Rural Development and Environment and that is going to be constituted soon together with the Public University of Navarra (UPNA), represented by ISFOOD, Institute for Innovation and Sustainable Development of the Food Chain, and IMAB, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology; Navarrabiomed; the Institute of Agrobiotechnology (CSIC-IdAB); the public companies INTIA and Nasertic; as well as the private company Josenea.
The purpose of ANIC is to obtain and manage, with criteria of equity among the partners and with a territorial vision for Navarra, the relevant licenses or authorizations from the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS). Specifically, it intends to do so with the authorization for the cultivation of hemp plants for research purposes; the authorization for the cultivation of these plants for medical and scientific purposes; and, subsequently and on an annual basis, the annual authorization of total surface area and plots for the cultivation of hemp plants.
Among the objectives of ANIC are to group and coordinate all the actors that operate with industrial or medicinal hemp in Navarra; to promote cooperation between companies, research centers and institutions for the growth of the sector; to create, consolidate and promote a sectorial image for all the economic and research activity; or to facilitate and coordinate sectorial relations at a national and international level. Likewise, the entity aims to contribute to the promotion of research and innovation in the industrial and medicinal hemp sector in Navarra, in all the links of the value chain.
In this sense, it will place special emphasis on the development of new varieties of industrial and medicinal hemp and on genetic research; on research into the medical, pharmacological, food, industrial and cosmetic properties of hemp; on research into the medicinal, industrial and commercial applications of its derivatives; on research into the economic potential of industrial and medicinal hemp as an alternative crop for economically disadvantaged areas and/or areas at risk of depopulation.
The first project
In parallel to the steps for the constitution of the association, the members of the association have been working on a first research project that they are finalizing to present to the AEMPS once ANIC is constituted.
This is a variety testing project. It consists of selecting hemp varieties with high CBD content (a non-psychoactive component of hemp) and low THC content (psychoactive component), adapted to the growing conditions of Navarra, based on morphological, physiological, agronomic (phenotypic in general) and genotypic characteristics (using molecular markers that indicate the THC/CBD chemotype ratio of the varieties).
In addition, a second aim is the study and characterization of the derived products for their commercialization by industries of the agri-food sector, such as proteins and lipids of nutritional interest and biocompounds from the selected varieties. The project would be located in the Josenea farm in Lumbier, “which meets the prerequisites set by the AEMPS”. That is to say, it is located “in a closed, video-surveilled environment, near a population center and a police or Civil Guard station”.