The hemp plant is genetically similar to cannabis, but which has been harvested mostly for industrial purposes (e.g., fibres, clothing, rope, food).
With the Industrial Hemp Regulations coming into force in late 2018, commercial hemp licensing is now governed under the Cannabis Act similar to cannabis. Historically, hemp production became legal (again) in Canada in 1998 but which had limitations around its production.
In Canada, the definition of hemp includes a maximum THC content of 0.3%, and is grown outdoors for either its seed (a source of hemp oil and hemp protein) or for its fibres (used for various consumer products and industrial purposes). Hemp grows well in a wide variety of soil types preferring 25 to 30 inches of rainfall per year. Due to the aggressive nature of the plant it requires no chemical weed control when densely seeded. Crops can be sown in the Spring as early as two weeks before corn planting. In 2017, over 60,000 hectares of hemp were grown in Canada.
Previous federal regulations required that the leaves, flowers and stock were destroyed. However, with the Cannabis Regulations coming into force in late 2018, these “waste products” can now be sold to companies that have achieved a Standard (or Micro) Processor Licence. These plant parts can be used as valuable raw material for the extraction of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), which can now be incorporated into cosmetics (and down the road likely sold as a CBD concentrate pending consultations).
In order to achieve a commercial Hemp Licence, an application with the required documentation of practices, personnel and facility design/plans, must be submitted to the Office of Medical Cannabis for review. Note that only a fully built-out facility will be eligible for a licence, and Health Canada does not offer any “ready to build” (or similar) authorizations ahead of construction; the applicant will need to build out the facility before/during the application is under review. The timeframe for achieving a Hemp Licence is unknown at this time, although it is expected to be relatively short (likely 60 to 90 days).
Cannabis Compliance Inc can prepare a full Hemp Licence application package for any outdoor hemp operation. Contact us today to start a conversation.