Canadian hemp industry ready for new opportunities

Hemp has often been lumped in with its rather contentious relation, cannabis. While related, the two crops are very different, but the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada is also good news for the hemp industry.

Shaun Haney, host of RealAg Radio, recently had a chance to talk with Ted Haney, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), about the current state of the hemp industry and where it is headed.

(It turns out the two are cousins, but they agreed everyone has some cross to bear. It sounded like they were joking – probably.)

Ted starts out by explaining what has built the industry, so far. “For Hemp, it’s been all about food to take us where we are today. And that is really the hemp seed. It’s sales of hemp hearts, the dehulled seed after crush, oil, and protein. Those three products have been the core of what we are, and will continue to be very, very important to the growth of the sector going forward.”

That said, there are some very exciting things on the horizon “There is new interest in three other areas that are undeveloped that will represent revenue streams to the industry and take us to where we think we’re going, he says. They are:

  • Registration of hemp as a livestock feed;
  • Increased development of fibre industry; and,
  • Extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) for the medical marijuana market.

Shaun wanted to know if the legalization of cannabis was a help or a hinderance to the hemp industry.

According to Ted, “It does appear to be an excessively regulated agricultural crop because of its continued tie to the marijuana sector, which is one of the things the hemp industry wants to put right. Let’s apply some common sense, move the regulation of the national hemp crop to Agriculture Canada as an agricultural crop and allow all that great work that happens with agricultural crops to occur, and allow us to move along our development line.”

Listen to the entire interview with Ted Haney here.

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