Promotion and Research Agency could create unique opportunity for Canadian Hemp Producers.
The Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC), formally announced on October 13th, 2018 that it is beginning the public hearing process to evaluate the merits of a hemp Promotion and Research Agency (PRA). “This is great news for Canadian hemp growers;” stated Don Dewar of Dauphin, Manitoba who chaired the producer committee that developed the application to establish the hemp PRA.
“We started developing the application in the spring of 2017 and submitted the application to the Farm Products Council last October, so were glad to see FPCC moving forward with the review. Our view has always been that a hemp PRA will allow Canadian hemp growers to become a better partner with industry, researchers, provincial and national governments in the identification and delivery of strategic research and promotional programs that will strengthen and grow the Canadian hemp industry;” added Dewar.
Unlike provincial commissions or boards which fall under provincial legislation, a PRA falls under the Federal Farm Products Agency Act and it’s the Farm Products Council role to evaluate the merits of an application and make recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture on whether an application should be supported by the Federal Government. Hemp producers evaluated various options to establish a national organization to collect levy’s on production of hemp products and decided the PRA was the best approach. A hemp PRA would give hemp producers an organization that has national scope and allow for efficiencies in the governance of the organization.
“We see significant opportunities for growth;” added Larry Marshall an organic hemp grower from
Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. “Our traditional seed market is continuing to grow and there is a lot more interest in hemp fibre,” adds Larry. Also, Health Canada’s decision to allow whole plant harvest of industrial hemp for the 2018 crop creates significant new opportunities. “This permission from Health Canada will allow hemp producers to use the 2018 crop to learn more about harvesting, drying and storing whole plant material,” explains Jason Green, head of agriculture for Canopy Growth.
“This is an exciting time to be in the hemp business, but like any industry hemp requires investment to reach its full potential;” added Dewar. “A hemp PRA would provide a legal framework to stimulate investment and governance structure to ensure hemp producers have a strong voice in the ongoing development of the hemp industry.”
The hemp producer committee encourages interested producers to review the hemp PRA application on the Farm Products Council of Canada web site.