Opportunities In Hemp Opening Up
Opportunities in hemp opening up
U.S. farmers are about to get into the hemp game but longtime players here in Canada have a business plan to win the day
Canada is the big player in the North American hemp business. In fact until very recently, it was the only player. That’s because of the controversial history of the crop, which had been banned north and south of the border since the 1930s because it was lumped together with its psychoactive cousin, marijuana.
In Canada, however, that changed on March 12, 1998 when, after years of lobbying, Health Canada began issuing the first licences for commercial hemp production.
That kicked off a flurry of would-be entrepreneurs rushing to fill what they perceived as an opportunity. Many failed. But a few did succeed, and today hemp production is a small but growing portion of Canada’s agriculture industry.
A major market for almost all of these hemp producers has been the U.S., where Canadian suppliers have been the beneficiaries of some regulatory foot-dragging. It’s only this year, thanks to provisions in the new U.S. Farm Bill, that American farmers are allowed to grow the crop.