Canadian Hemp Growing Like a Weed, Experts Ponder How to Help Industry Blossom

Canada’s small hemp industry is growing like a weed, but still faces some hurdles because of its illegal and potent cousin, marijuana.

This week, farmers, scientists, health food experts, retailers and fashion designers are meeting in Edmonton to celebrate hemp and discuss how to help products derived from the plant to blossom on world markets.

Kim Shukla, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trading Alliance, says production in this country is forecast to almost double by 2015.

“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 or so growers across the country are all licensed by Health Canada and can only plant seeds that have been approved by the federal government.
Canadian hemp growers are more interested in filling food bowls than bong bowls.

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 leery 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 high.

– Read the entire article at Yahoo Finance.



  1. Anonymous on

    it can be grown without fungicides, herbicides and pesticides, it absorbs carbon dioxide five times more efficiently than the same acreage of forest and it matures in three to four months. Hemp can be used to create building materials, textiles, clothing, inks, and paints and has potential use in other non-food products. These advantages are in tune with the environmental and health preferences of today’s North American public. The growing curiosity of consumers, the interest shown by farmers and processors, and Canada’s excellent growing conditions for industrial hemp allow optimistic views for its future.

  2. Paul Pot on

    “the United States, where the federal government has been leery of approving cultivation of the plant because it looks similar to marijuana.”
    This statement gives the impression that hemp was only banned as it looked like marijuana and that is what was banned apparently for the public good when in fact it was actually the hemp that was the target of the bans. The paper and cotton and petro-chemical and pharmaceutical companies all profited greatly from having the one and only competition to their industries completely deleted from the market place.
    As a result of the 1937 tax act entire industries were removed from the rural domain and placed in the hands of multi-national industrialists.
    The farming communities of the world have been harassed and impoverished to benefit the profit margin of the wealthiest people on Earth.

  3. Anonydude on

    That’s a good point, didn’t cross my mind. The thing is that hemp is too good of a resource not to grow. Maybe in a legal market(which hopefully will be widespread soonly) the best idea is to grow ganja in an appropriate sized greenhouse, one can build one small enough even for growing a handful of plants in an urban backyard, right? The best solutions for the issue will allow growing both, keep thinking creatively folks!

  4. Anonymous on

    well said. The pollens of weed are known to travel long distances and the last thing a high thc grower wants is to have his babies pollinated by bum ditchweed.Its enough that soon we will have to be on the lookout for high-CBD low THC weed and we certainly dont want as well the male pollen of this type of plant to pollinate our beloved high-THC low CBD females.

  5. Anonymous on

    don’t need the pollen from this industrial ditchweed ruining our high-THC pot. grow high-THC pot and use the stalks and seeds the same way you use hemp. but keep that ditchweed out of Canada, and stop blaming THC marijuana for your problems. We don’t need low-THC weed! Thanks.