Canadian hemp growers can now harvest the entire hemp plant — including its flowers, buds, and leaves — after Health Canada established new rules on August 10, Producer.com reports.
Previously, hemp farmers could only farm the plant for its seeds and fiber.
The move is expected to open access to another potentially massive source of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants that has medicinal properties but not an intoxicating effect. This will also give hemp farmers access to a medicinal products marketplace in addition to just food and textiles.
“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, in a statement
The new rules are attached to The Cannabis Act, which will fully legalize cannabis and hemp in Canada starting October 17. The hemp harvesting rules were changed earlier to give farmers, manufacturers, and other entrepreneurs time to develop the technologies and procedures for processing hemp into CBD products.
“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.” — Jeff Kostuik of Hemp Genetics International, via Producer.com
While farmers can now harvest and store all parts of the hemp plant, they cannot sell any products made from hemp flowers, buds, and leaves until after The Cannabis Act takes effect.