The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a report that provides details about the status of the hemp industry in neighboring Canada.
The six-page document which was authored by the Agriculture Attaché Evan Mangino indicates that while hemp was legalized in Canada close to 20 years ago and the U.S. only did so last year, the two countries are facing identical regulatory challenges.
Last year, Canada exported approximately 5,400 metric tons of hemp seeds. About 70 percent of those exports were to the U.S., but this figure is expected to drop a great deal once U.S. hemp farmers start harvesting their crop this year.
Until recently, farmers in the U.S. complained that it was hard for them to access viable hemp seeds from Canada. This prompted the USDA to write a clarification in April that under the 2018 Farm Bill, it was legal to import this planting material.
The report also states that most of the hemp grown in Canada is for nonviable hempseed. This is used to make hemp protein powder, hemp meal, hemp flour, hemp-based snacks and hulled hemp seeds.
The current regulatory framework in Canada doesn’t allow hemp or its products to be used as animal or pet food, and CBD isn’t allowed to be used as an ingredient in health supplements. However, the country plans to allow the manufacturers of livestock feed single ingredients (hemp seeds or hemp oil, for example) to apply and get approval to use the product for that purpose.
The hemp and natural products’ industries in Canada have continued to campaign so that the country designs a separate regulatory mechanism for products containing CBD, according to the status report published.
Veterinary associations in Canada have also been pushing for a legal pathway through which the members of those associations can start prescribing products containing cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, to animals.
However, Canada has only approved one company to conduct clinical trials into the use of CBD and THC to manage anxiety in pets.
Despite the full legalization of cannabis in Canada, there are only three ways through which people can obtain CBD products.
First, residents can buy these products from retailers that have been licensed by provincial governments. This is similar to what happens for marijuana.
Secondly, Canadians can buy CBD products from medical marijuana dispensaries if those interested people are patients registered for the program and they have a prescription from a medical professional.
Alternatively, one can buy drugs containing CBD if the individual has a prescription for that drug and the specified drug has been vetted or approved by the appropriate health care authorities.
These ways to access CBD seem to be identical to what is currently prevailing in the U.S., and since the FDA has suggested that Congress may have to step in or else the agency takes years to develop alternative rules, there seems to be no quick solution to the regulatory challenges.
Industry watchers believe industry actors like Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) are confident that appropriate regulations will eventually come and end all the uncertainty in the industry.
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