Seminar offers the lowdown on industrial hemp

Cannabis legalization has boosted interest in industrial hemp and should lead to less paperwork, too

The pending legalization of cannabis is boosting interest in growing industrial hemp. And it’s expected it will be easier to grow the crop in 2018 once a review of federal regulation on the use of chaff (leaves and flowers) and the licensing procedure is completed.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is putting on seminars in Vermilion on Feb. 6 and in Vegreville Feb. 8 to help producers identify if industrial hemp may be a good fit in their crop rotation.

Department staff will provide an overview of the industrial hemp industry and current market opportunities. There will also be presentations from Jan Slaski, lead industrial hemp researcher at InnoTech Alberta, and Byron James, supervisor of the organization’s farm and decortication facility in Vegreville.

Viking producer Brian Rozmahel will also talk about his experiences growing organic industrial hemp.

“2017 was our fourth year of being certified organic and growing hemp,” said Rozmahel. “My interest lies in using cover crops to improve soil health, increase fertility, and to control weeds.

Other presenters include Terry Radford of Just Biofiber (on using hemp for building materials), Charles Holmes, president of Hempco Canada (on hemp health products), and Dan Madlung of BioComposites Group (which uses fibre mat technology to make hemp products). Register online at the Alberta Agriculture website or email [email protected] for more information.

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