News Release: 27/02/2017

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February 27, 2017
Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2017

Cannabis Task Force Acknowledges Potential Benefit of CBD and Recommends Relaxed Regulation for Industrial Hemp
Today, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) called on Health Canada to begin immediate implementation of the federal Cannabis Task Force’s recommendation regarding industrial hemp.  The federal task force studying the potential legalization of cannabis acknowledged the opportunity for Cannabidiol (CBD) in industrial hemp, and characterized the current IHR as creating "burdensome" requirements for hemp producers.
While industrial hemp originated from the same “Cannabis sativa” species that produces marijuana, it has been bred to have no more than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive compound which creates a “high” for marijuana users.   Industrial hemp has been grown commercially in Canada since 1998, with a well-established track record for safety and regular testing of all crop grown to ensure it remains below the 0.3% THC threshold.   Despite the industrial hemp plant’s track record for safety, industrial hemp growers can only harvest the seeds and stalks of their crops, and under the current Industrial Hemp Regulation (IHR) are forbidden to collect the leaves, flowers and buds of the plant which contain the promising compound CBD.
“We have been advocating for whole crop use of industrial hemp for over five years,” stated Russ Crawford, President, CHTA.  “We are encouraged by the federal Cannabis Task Force recommendations, and call on Health Canada to further modernize the Industrial Hemp Regulation without delay.   A modernized regulation would allow the harvesting of all parts of the industrial hemp plant, and enable research and development of the significant CBD opportunity for Canadians, and for Canada to solidify its position as the global leader in industrial hemp”.
The Cannabis Task Force acknowledged the potential for CBD to moderate the potency and undesirable effects of THC, and the emerging science illustrating the importance of the THC to CBD ratio in a variety of cannabis products.  With respect to the cannabis regulations currently under development, the Task Force stated on page 32 of their report released December 16, 2016  "While the new legislation will apply to cannabis, including industrial hemp, we believe a lighter regime should be designed to regulate the industrial hemp industry. With respect to CBD and other compounds derived from hemp or other sources, each substance should be reviewed and regulated depending on its risks."
The CHTA supports the Task Force recommendation calling for regulation and labelling of CBD as a logical next step following the modernization of the IHR to allow for harvesting and processing of the whole industrial hemp plant.

CHTA is a member organization of growers, processors and distributors of industrial hemp.  
For more information, contact:
Russ Crawford, President, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance
Kim Shukla, Executive Director, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance