Growing the Canadian Hemp Sector Through Investment and Cannabis Legislation

News release

September 4, 2018 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Canada’s hemp sector is growing, with seeded crop area reaching over 138,000 acres in 2017. Hemp is increasingly used across a variety of products, including environmentally friendly clothing and building materials. It is also becoming widely recognized for its high nutritious content, including protein, omega and fibre. A strong and competitive agriculture sector is vital to Canada’s prosperity and our Government is proud to support the hemp industry, which will help grow our economy and create more jobs for our middle class.

Speaking today at Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced an investment of $330,550 to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) under Growing Froward 2, AgriRisk Initiatives. This investment is helping to develop industry grading standards to ensure Canadian hemp products are known globally as being of the highest quality.

As part of the new cannabis legislation, the Government of Canada is updating the industrial hemp regulations to allow the industry to harvest the flowering heads, branches and leaves of the crop immediately. These changes will open new revenue source and market opportunities for hemp producers by enabling the sector to research the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant.

Today’s announcement is part of Minister MacAulay’s “Growing Canadian Agriculture” tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, and participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.


“Our Government's investment and recent changes to hemp regulations is providing the Canadian Hemp industry the tools they need to get more of their world-class crops into Canadian foods and other products. This is helping to capture new and exciting market opportunities ahead, while creating well-paying middle class jobs.
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

“This investment to the hemp industry, as well as changes to regulations will help the competitiveness of local businesses like Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods so that they can grow the local economy in northern Winnipeg and create quality, well-paying jobs."
- Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North

“The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance was extremely pleased with the support of AAFC’s Agri Risk Initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Food Safety Project, conducted in 2016, was a collaboration between the CHTA and Agri-Neo Inc. focused on determining safe and cost-effective prevention and mitigation techniques for the control of pathogens in industrial hemp.”

-   Russ Crawford, President, CHTA

Quick facts

  • Canada exported $93 million in hemp food and fibre in 2017.

  • From January 2008 to November 2017, there were 452 products using hemp as an ingredient launched in the world. Over 54.7% of hemp-containing products launched used hemp protein as an ingredient.

  • The CHTA is a national not-for-profit organization that represents over 260 growers across 9 provinces and promotes Canadian hemp and hemp products globally. Established in 2003, the Alliance represents those involved in Canada’s hemp industry.  Members include farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, entrepreneurs and marketers.

  • On August 10, 2018, Health Canada made a revision to Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to allow whole plant harvest (including the flowering heads, branches, and leaves) of industrial hemp for the 2018 crop, which was previously not permitted.  Farmers can immediately start researching the most efficient and economic ways to capture the full value of the hemp plant, and storing this material until it can be sold under the new Cannabis Act, which comes into force on October 17th, 2018.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal-provincial and territorial governments (FPT), which will strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.

Associated links


Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

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