HEMP AGRICULTURE IN CANADA
Canadian farmers have the opportunity now to diversify, across most growing regions, in the rapidly expanding area of hemp, grown for the purpose of supplying raw plant material for the manufacture of health and medical products. Historically, hemp production became legal (again) in Canada in 1998, with many limitations around its production under the Industrial Hemp Regulations. In 2017, over 60,000 hectares of industrial hemp were grown in Canada for industrial purposes (e.g., fibres, clothing, rope) and seed production (eg. food, hemp hearts). Since October 17, 2018, hemp will be governed under the Industrial Hemp Regulations and the Cannabis Regulations.
In Canada, the definition of hemp is a plant with a maximum THC content of 0.3% (by weight) and is grown outdoors for either its seed (a source of hemp oil and hemp protein) or for its fibres (used for various industrial purposes). Prior to October 2018, federal regulations required that the plant flower, bud and leaf material were destroyed at harvest, however, with the Cannabis Regulations (effective October 17 2018) these former ‘waste plant materials’ can now be included in the harvest and sold to companies that hold a Standard (or Micro) Processor License. The plant flower, bud and leaf material, high in CBD content, are valuable raw plant material suitable for extraction processing to produce CBD oil.
Health Canada requires current hemp producers holding cultivation licenses to register their intent to harvest flower, bud and leaf material, and request license amendments through the ‘Licenses and Permits Division’, Office of Controlled Substances, Health Canada (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-concerns/controlled-substances- precursor-chemicals/controlled-substances.html). Health Canada requires producers to register as existing licenses do not allow for this activity. Further, hemp producers are encouraged to apply for a revision to their existing licenses to allow off-farm sales of this additional plant material now that the Cannabis Act is implemented as of October 17, 2018.
Recent replacement of the Section 56 Class Exemption with Subsection 56 (1) Class Exemption in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) is good news for the Canadian hemp industry. This amendment allows hemp farmers to collect and store hemp plant flower, bud and leaf material immediately for future sale and research activities. This permission from Health Canada in August 2018 allowed hemp producers to use the 2018 crop to learn more about harvesting, drying and storing whole plant material. Hemp farmers are focused on quality assurance in the collection and handling process, and are working on developing best practices in this developing area of Canadian agriculture.
WE GUARANTEE QUALITY
Highest Quality Products
Greenleaf Productions is dedicated to introducing the finest CBD extracts to companies who are interested in producing CBD product lines. We are dedicated to ensuring our customers have the highest quality products sourced from the best plants, using the safest methods. We guarantee quality.
COMMERCIAL HEMP PRODUCTION
Growers will find the following information and list of Resources useful. However, please note that the information presented is a guideline, and updates will be posted as clarity of the industry occurs with announcements from the federal government.
Industrial Hemp License
In Canada, hemp is classified as a ‘controlled substance’, which means to cultivate hemp you must apply to the Government of Canada, Health Canada for an Industrial Hemp License (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/drugs-health-products/industrial-hemp-licensing-application-guide.html).
The timeframe for receiving an Industrial Hemp License is unknown at this time, although government processing time for these license applications is expected to be relatively short (in the estimated timeline of 60 to 90 days). Prior to the estimated 60 to 90 days for processing of an application, there are a number of details, permissions and screening required prior to submitting a completed application, which will require attention and time.
Crop Production Insurance
Production insurance for Industrial Hemp is available in Ontario through Agricorp (available at: http://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/Programs/ProductionInsurance/Hemp/Pages/Overview.aspx), for example. Notify Agricorp of your intent to grow hemp or initiate a new customer application for production insurance by contacting Agricorp Head Office:
For those located outside of Ontario, production insurance for Industrial Hemp may be available in your province. Contact your local crop insurance program provider to inquire.
THC Testing and Cultivars
In November 2016, Health Canada announced that THC testing of commercial hemp production fields was no longer required for any varieties on the ‘List of Approved Cultivars’. THC testing is required for pedigreed seed production.
According to the current ‘Policy on the Exemption of Industrial Hemp Varieties from THC Testing During the Growing Season’ (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/producing-selling-hemp/commercial-licence/list-approved-cultivars-cannabis-sativa.html), all holders of an industrial hemp license for cultivation are required under the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR) to have their field(s) sampled by an authorized sampler and tested by a competent laboratory for the level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the leaves and flowering heads, unless the cultivar has been exempted from this testing. The THC test results received for a variety contribute to the overall profile of the variety, and provide a basis for accepting or rejecting a variety for inclusion on the List of Approved Cultivars (LOAC) (available at: http://hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/alt_formats/pdf/substancontrol/hemp-chanvre/comm-licen/list-cultivars-liste-2017-eng.pdf). This approved list is dated 2017, however, a meeting is scheduled for December 2018 to make decisions on the current List of Approved Cultivars (LOAC).
CANNABIS AGRICULTURE IN CANADA
Canada is the first G7 and G20 nation to legalize cannabis, which will create revenue through taxation by the government of legally produced cannabis. With legalization, there is the requirement for a license to cultivate and sell cannabis plant material. Commercial growers must apply for a cannabis licence under the Excise Act, 2001 (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/excise-duties-levies/apply-cannabis-licence.html).
Note: that a license to grow cannabis commercially is valid for a maximum of 2 years, and is not automatically renewed. A renewal process is in place, which requires an application for license renewal no later than 30 days before the expiry date of the current license. Additionally, there are requirements of the license that must be met during the period you are licensed in order to be eligible for renewal.
An advantage of legalization and the requirement of licensure for cultivation and sale of cannabis, as well as for production (including extraction and processing) and packaging, is the quality assurance by Health Canada of cannabis product throughout the stages of handling and the final cannabis product. The stamp of approval from Health Canada is anticipated to put Canadian cannabis at the centre of the world stage.
COMMERCIAL CANNABIS PRODUCTION
Outdoor Cannabis License
As of October 17, 2018, outdoor cannabis production is permitted for ‘Nursery’, ‘Micro’, and ‘Standard Cultivation’ Licenses. Any variety of cannabis will be permitted, with no THC limitations. Security requirements are specific to the type of license, i.e. nursery, micro or standard. For all outdoor cultivation, an indoor area adjacent to the outdoor crop is required to complete the work of curing, packaging and storing dried flower and bud. All finished cannabis product must be tested for microbes and contaminants, including a number of pesticides.
Cannabis growers must obtain a licence from Health Canada in order to grow cannabis for sale, on a large or small scale, or for cultivating seeds or seedling plants (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/industry-licensees-applicants/licensing-summary/guide.htm).
Extraction of THC and CBD
Our commercial extraction business is
… purpose-built to receive and process commercial hemp or cannabis plant matter
… state-of-the-art to extract the spectrum of CBD, THC, terpenes, vitamins, and antioxidants creating a highly potent oil
… broad in capacity to process large or small batch volumes
Our business team is
… creative at heart to explore the potential of new and unique product
… focused to deliver high quality customer service and satisfaction
… quality conscious to deliver the very best
- Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (available at: http://www.hemptrade.ca/)
- Cannabis Growers of Canada (available at: https://cannagrowers.ca/)
- Government of Ontario. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario. FACTSHEET (available at: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-067.htm)
- Statistics, Reports and Fact Sheets on Hemp (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/producing-selling-hemp/about-hemp-canada-hemp-industry/statistics-reports-fact-sheets-hemp.html)
- Government of Canada. Cannabis. (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis.html)
- List of Approved Hemp Cultivars (available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/producing-selling-hemp/commercial-licence/list-approved-cultivars-cannabis-sativa.html)