Ukrainian seeds for a thriving hemp industry in Alberta
The products derived from the decortication of hemp can in particular be used in the manufacture of compostable bags.
The Alberta company Canadian Rockies Hemp, one of the largest hemp processors in the country, relies on Ukrainian seeds to meet the growing needs of this industry.
Located in Bruderheim, northeast of Edmonton, the company has full bags of seed in its warehouse. She supplies them to local farmers, as these seeds from Ukraine withstand Canada's weather conditions well.
The seeds of this plant are put to many uses through a process called decortication in which industrial hemp fibers are derived into a series of materials. For example, hemp can be used in the manufacture of compostable bags, the interior coating of car doors or even hemp cement.
Chris Allam devoted roughly 10% of his field to growing hemp. Canadian Rockies Hemp provided him with the seeds, in addition to taking care of the harvest.
According to the farmer, this partnership is a winner, especially since, According to him, hemp is easy to grow and requires very little fertilizer.
It's probably the solution to pollution, he says, especially when& #x27;we add the wide range of products potentially derived from hemp.
“It's sold as a miracle plant.
— Aaron Barr, CEO, Canadian Rockies Hemp
Delivering these precious seeds to Alberta has been a tall order, according to Canadian Rockies Hemp CEO Aaron Barr. These come from the National Institute of Agrarian Sciences Bast Crops, until recently located in territory occupied by Russian forces.
Aaron Barr started his business after a career in motocross.
The institute therefore hired a Hungarian trucker to pass through the checkpoints to go to Poland and then to Germany with the precious cargo destined for Canada.
< p class="e-p">They are an extremely resilient people and it's amazing what [Ukrainians] are able to accomplish in these difficult times, says Aaron Barr.
Health Canada is the responsible for regulation and licensing related to industrial hemp. The federal agency distributed 1050 permits for this purpose in 2021, a considerable increase since the 542 permits granted in 2018.
Alberta is also the place in Canada where the& #x27;the most industrial hemp is grown, with more than 8,000 hectares set aside for cultivation in 2021.
Industrial hemp refers to the parts of a cannabis plant whose concentration of THC, one of the main active molecules in cannabis, is less than 0.3%. In particular, recreational cannabis can reach 30% THC concentration.
Canadian Rockies Hemp plans to increase production next year by processing more than 20,000 hectares of hemp and producing nearly 50,000 tons of fiber from the plant.
With information from Liam Harrap