Feds legalize harvest of hemp flowers, buds and leaves

Hemp is no longer about seeds, food and fibre.

Effective immediately, hemp growers in Canada are now permitted to harvest the whole plant, meaning they can collect and store hemp flowers, buds and leaf material.

Health Canada, which regulates industrial hemp production, made the decision Aug. 10.

Previously, harvesting hemp flowers, buds and leaves was illegal in Canada.

“These new parts (of hemp) are economically valuable and will provide a new source of CBD and potentially other cannabinoid products,” the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance said in a statement.

The Health Canada decision is significant for the hemp trade because CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the plant tissues of industrial hemp plants.

Studies suggest that CBD provides pain relief, has anti-inflammatory properties and may help combat anxiety.

The CHTA has argued for years that harvesting the whole plant should be legal because the natural health market for CBD is potentially massive.

“My gut tells me there’s going to be more value coming out of industrial hemp from the cannabinoids than the food and the fibre combined,” said CHTA president Russ Crawford said in 2016.

“There is a medicinal application for this that could be global in nature.”

Health Canada proposed the idea of whole plant use for industrial hemp in November. The new rules for hemp are part of the federal government’s Cannabis Act, which permits the production and use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The Cannabis Act is scheduled to take affect Oct. 17, but hemp growers and processors didn’t want to wait that long.

“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 Oct. 17,” said Jeff Kostuik of Hemp Genetics International and chair of the CHTA research committee.

“These next two months will enable us to research the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant.”

While hemp producers can collect and store hemp flowers, buds and leaves, they cannot sell the material until after Oct. 17.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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Comments

  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

  • Happy Farmer

    In response to Brian –
    I have no problems with medical marijuana, however, recreational use is what I’m opposed to.
    I will be far more inclined to vote for politicians that will be more restrictive on recreational uses for cannabis.
    Drinkers, druggies of cannabis, stay off my roads. I’m sick of the problems you cause

    • Steve

      sorry to break this to you but cannabis doesn’t cause impairment, if you would have bothered to learn about your endocannabinoid system you would know there are no CB1 or CB2 receptors in your cerebellum (part of brain that controls motor function) so you can not physically get impaired from cannabis. …

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