I read a great article earlier this week and thought it would be a great story for our first post! It spoke about Canada’s small hemp industry. It’s growing like a weed (pun intended;), but still faces some obsticles because of its de-criminalized and potent cousin, marijuana.
A few weeks ago, farmers, scientists, health food experts, retailers and fashion designers met in Edmonton to celebrate hemp and discuss how to help products derived from the plant grow on world markets.
Executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trading Alliance, Kim Shukla, says production in this country is forecast to almost double by 2015.
$100 million annually
“That will translate to about $100 million to the Canadian economy,” she said from her farm near Steinbach, Man.
“Saskatchewan is by far the leading province, followed by Manitoba and Alberta.”
Both hemp and marijuana stem from the Cannabis sativa plant family, but hemp contains virtually none of the elements of the THC compound found in marijuana that makes people high.
The 200+ growers across the country are all licensed by Health Canada and can only plant seeds that have been approved by the federal government.
The health benefits of hemp are huge!
Hemp is filled with nutritious Omega 3 and 6 and is used to make breakfast cereals, pretzels, protein powders, salad dressings and lactose-free milk.
Fibre from the hardy plant is made into building products, paper and clothes. Hemp oil is used to make cosmetics.
Shukla said Canada’s main market for hemp products is the United States, where the federal government has been ‘iffy’ of approving cultivation of the plant because it looks similar to marijuana.
But U.S. officials have no problem with Canadian-grown hemp products. Demand for health food and other products derived from the plant is higher than ever.
“Everyone is much more conscious about their health,” she said. “That is a market that hasn’t even nearly reached what the potential is.”
The hemp business is straight-up respectable in Canada.
Do you support Canada’s hemp industry? If so, tell us how in the comments section.
Author: Neil Nate Turner