Press Release: Bill C-45 and Proposed Regulations Need to Better Address Difference between Hemp and Marijuana

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December 05, 2017
“Health Canada’s November 21st announcement of public consultations on the Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis opens the next chapter on regulatory reform for industrial hemp,” states Russ Crawford, President of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. “The CHTA has been working closely with Health Canada during the process of legalization of cannabis and we look forward to continued co-operation and understanding from them as government and industry addresses the legalization of marijuana and the potential impacts on Canada’s hemp food and fibre industries.”

The goal of the CHTA, in representing its 370 members, is to clarify the differences between marijuana and hemp and ensure that regulations directed at the legalization and oversight of marijuana do not impede the dramatic growth in the hemp sector. 

Exports of hemp exceeded $145 million in 2016 and Canadian farmers expected to seed a record 139,000 acres of hemp in 2017. Commercial activity in the hemp sector is at an all-time high as businesses expand and value added products are developed.

“The CHTA’s ‘Blueprint for a Billion Dollar Industry’ supports Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s goal of $75 billion by 2025,” adds Keith Jones, CHTA Vice President and Chair of the Government Relations committee. “In order to achieve this goal, the Canadian hemp industry requires an updated regulatory approach, which needs to be implemented through Bill C-45 and the accompanying regulations”.
The regulatory approach announced Nov 21 is a good step in that direction, however the CHTA remains concerned about possible (and unnecessary) regulatory controls applied to cannabis as a whole when, in fact, many restrictions pertain to marijuana only.   For this reason, the CHTA looks forward to participating in the public consultations referred to in Health Canada’s announcement and working towards changes that will allow hemp producers, processors and exporters to expand the hemp industry and maintain Canada’s global leadership position.   The CHTA is engaging its membership to provide comprehensive input to Health Canada’s public consultation process.
Kim Shukla,P,Ag.
Executive Director, CHTA