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Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance Wants Regulations Changed

By admin | January 3, 2016

Agriculture News
Written by Amy-Jean MacLean

The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), which held its national convention in Calgary last week, says the current Industrial Hemp Regulations need to be changed.

Under the current rules, Canadian farmers are only permitted to harvest the seeds and bare stock.

CHTA Executive Director Kim Shukla says although hemp contains low levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC, there is another beneficial cannabinoid known as cannabidiol or CBD that is contained in other parts of the plant.

“That has been shown under research to have some pretty significant beneficial health impacts,” she said. “This is being supported by research studies that have been done in Canada and abroad.”

In a CHTA press release, Dr. Steve Laviolette of the University of Western Ontario states, “Cannabidiol may serve as an effective treatment for devastating psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, emerging evidence is revealing potential benefits of cannabidiol for the treatment of epilepsy.”

Shukla says other jurisdictions, including parts of the US, are permitted to harvest other parts of the hemp plant, which puts Canadian farmers at a disadvantage.

“What’s really quite frustrating is that Canada has been the leader in hemp production for the past 15 years. It’s a market advantage that we have but we are very close to losing that advantage because of these antiquated regulations under which we operate,” she said.

CHTA is asking for immediate action from the newly elected Liberal government. Shukla is hoping the Liberals stance on legalizing marijuana will have on positive impact on the hemp industry.

She estimates losses to Canadian farmers to be in the billions of dollars.

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