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Hemp farmers hope marijuana legalization in Canada will benefit business
Published Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:18AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:19AM CST
Hemp growers hope the federal government’s marijuana legislation will allow them to harvest all parts of the hemp plant.
Current regulations restrict Canadian farmers from harvesting parts of the plant that contain CBD, which is found in the chaff of the plant, but does not make people feel high.
“Legislation we’ve been operating under has not allowed us to harvest components that would contain CBD, such as the chaff and leaf materials, off our grain combines,” Garry Meier, president of Hemp Production Services, said.
“We hope that will be allowed in the new legislation in a way that would allow farmers to capture more of that value.”
In the wake of the legalization, Meier said he’s been reassuring customers, especially those overseas, that hemp foods will not be contaminated with THC – a cannabis compound that gets a person high – once marijuana can legally be produced.
Meier and other hemp seed producers have been distancing themselves from the marijuana industry.
“Hemp is as similar to marijuana as popcorn is to sweetcorn at the roadside stand. They’re completely different plants,” he said.
Sask. Agriculture Minister wants marijuana to be farmed open-field
The federal government is currently drafting the rules on how marijuana will be grown.
Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart told CTV News he hopes the plant will not be limited to greenhouses.
“I hope there’s going to be an opportunity for open-field growing of it. But like I say, there will be some pretty expensive and serious security around all that.”
The liberal government released an online questionnaire for people to weigh-in on marijuana regulations.
Canadians have until Saturday to submit their opinions.