Conservatives Consider Cannabis

Table Of Contents

Homegrown Revolution

Hemp Happenings

Smoke Signals

Cannabis Cup '96

Growers Corner

Oppression Update

Marijuana IS Medicine


      Consider Cannabis

      Tories Take Not of Hemp Oil

      The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has joined the hemp revolution,
      offering financial backing and words of support for hemp development in
      the province.?

      ?? On
      January 7, Grow Ontario, a $15 million initiative launched last year by
      the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, awarded Ruth Shamai of Toronto $60,000
      in matching funds for a research project involving hemp oil. Shamai, owner
      of environmental research company The Natural Order, will be investigating
      the use of industrial hemp seed oil in products ranging from ink and paint
      to food items such as margarine.?

      “Grow Ontario wants
      to lead private sector investment in agriculture,” explains program director
      Dianne Coates Milne. “We look for innovative programs to support.”?

      Shamai faced some obstacles in her quest for government funding. Her first
      proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture was turned down because she planned
      on using oil from viable hemp seeds imported from Hungary. Grow Ontario
      green lighted her project after Shamai switched to oil from sterilized
      seeds grown at a research plot in Saskatchewan.?

      Shamai’s interest in hemp began three years ago when she decided to complement
      her environmental mail order business with organic cotton and hemp clothes.
      The Natural Order, she notes proudly, still sells North America’s only
      line of hemp socks.?

      At the moment, however, Shamai is mostly interested in hemp oil, a product
      she describes as “the sleeper of the hemp industry.”?

      Shamai is not the only person in the province to benefit from the Tories’
      surprising enthusiasm for hemp.?

      Provincial farmers
      who want to grow hemp have received the backing of Noble Villeneuve, the
      Minister of Agriculture. According to a story from Canadian Press, Villeneueve
      told farmers at a Forest, Ontario meeting in the fall of 1996 that hemp
      was “a crop with tremendous potential.” The Minister was receptive to complaints
      from farmers who are still not allowed to grow commercial hemp. Ontario
      used to be a major producer of hemp until 1938, when it was banned under
      the Opium and Narcotics Control Act.?

      Coates Milne seems
      a little flustered when questioned about the interest the otherwise ultraconservative
      Tories have been giving hemp.?

      “I wish everyone would just try to relax,” she says. “Hemp is not marijuana.”?

      Nate Hendley?

      For more info…?

      Contact Ruth Shamai
      at the Natural Order, PO Box 850, Station P, Toronto, M5S 2Z2;?

      tel (416) 653-8593;?

      email [email protected]?