Hemp seed farmers now eligible for pandemic loan scheme

The €2 billion fund, which was a way for SMEs to access low-cost loans. excluded farmers growing hemp for seed, but reversed decision following ‘clarification’ of the law

Ed Hanbidge, co-owner of Hemp Tech Ireland and operator of a hemp farm in Co Wicklow, said the industry has been stigmatised for many years

Officials in a government department removed an exclusion on certain hemp farmers applying for a pandemic loan scheme a year after it was introduced following “clarification” of the law.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) had excluded farmers who grow hemp for seed from applying for funding through the Covid-19 credit guarantee scheme when it launched in September 2020.

The scheme, a €2 billion fund, was presented as a way for SMEs, ...