Whole Plant Harvest Approved for 2018 Crop

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August 10, 2018


 

BREAKING NEWS: INDUSTRIAL HEMP - WHOLE PLANT HARVEST APPROVED FOR 2018 CROP 

The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) would like to thank the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and officials-at Health Canada for the August 10, 2018 decision to allow whole plant harvest of industrial hemp for the 2018 crop.

Health Canada’s revision of Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) allows hemp farmers to immediately collect and store industrial hemp flower, bud and leaf material.  This material will be available for sale and research activities after the scheduled implementation of the Cannabis Act on October 17, 2018.  These new parts are economically valuable and will provide a new source of CBD and potentially other cannabinoid products.  CBD is in high demand within the natural health product, medical marijuana and companion animal sectors.

“This permission from Health Canada will allow hemp producers to use the 2018 crop to learn more about harvesting, drying and storing whole plant material,” explains Jason Green, Head of Agriculture with Canopy Hemp and Director of the CHTA. “Hemp farmers know the importance of quality assurance in the collection and handling process,’ adds Green. ‘The ability to start working on developing these good agricultural practices right away is fantastic!”

Jeff Kostuik, a field agronomist employed by Hemp Genetics International, and Chair of CHTA’s Research Committee states, “We need to experiment with harvest, preservation and storage technologies, and this exemption means we won’t waste a year - which would have been the case if we were unable to collect plant material until October 17th.  We need all the time we can get to adapt equipment, devise new processes and work with buyers to meet their quality standards, “ continued Jeff.  “These next two months will enable us to research the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant.”

The CHTA has worked closely with Health Canada over the past weeks bringing this matter to the forefront and identified a solution which respects the intent of the new Cannabis Act, while still allowing for a common-sense approach to the realities of hemp farming. The producers, processors, researchers and other members of the CHTA are united in complimenting Health Canada on their response to this request by the hemp industry. “From the outset, the hemp industry has been active and vocal in our attempts to reflect the needs of the industrial hemp industry,” claims Russ Crawford, President of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. “Clearly, Health Canada has been listening, and this action reflects their understanding and support. “

The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance is a not-for-profit organization which represents over 260 growers across all 10 provinces as well as numerous processors, distributors, developers and researchers involved in Canada’s rapidly growing industrial hemp industry.

For more information, contact: Russ Crawford, President, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance 403-510-9678

Further Information

1.  Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) - Section 56 Revision

The recent replacement of the Section 56 Class Exemption with Subsection 56 (1) Class Exemption in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) is welcome news to the hemp industry in Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-concerns/controlled-substances-precursorchemicals/policy-regulations/policy-documents/section-56-class-exemption-industrial-hempregulations.html. The exemption recognizes the differences in production practices between hemp and marijuana, and acknowledges the imminent start of the hemp harvest season. This amendment will allow hemp farmers to collect and store hemp plant flower, bud and leaf material immediately for future sale and research activities once the new Cannabis Act comes into effect on October 17, 2018.

2. Producer License Requirements

Health Canada requires hemp producers to register their intent to collect flower, bud and leaf material, as existing licences do not allow for this activity.  Hemp producers are also encouraged to apply for a revision to their existing licenses to allow off-farm sales of this additional plant material once the Cannabis Act is implemented on October 17, 2018.  The process of amending existing licenses prior to October 17, 2018 will be administratively more efficient than after that date.   Current cultivation license holders can register their intent to harvest flower, bud and leaf material, and request license amendments at:

Licences and Permits Division / Office of Controlled Substances 

Health Canada 

161 Goldenrod Driveway AL 0300B 

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9