Canada hemp producers say acreage, exports up 20% this year

Canada’s hemp acreage and export value are both up more than 20% this year, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance reported after its annual gathering.

“The Canadian hemp industry continues to grow in 2020 despite the challenges posed by COVID-19,” CHTA board chairman Keith Jones said in a statement after the group’s annual meeting, held online this year.

Canada seeded some 92,000 hemp acres in 2019, with exports exceeding $110 million Canadian dollars ($85 million). Final figures for 2020 are not yet available but are on track to outpace 2019 by more than 20%, the group said.

Canada is the largest exporter of hemp products to the U.S., mostly oilseed products from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, according to the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service.

Canada limited commercial hemp production to fiber and grain products until 2018, when hemp rules were overhauled in that country’s larger Cannabis Act regulating recreational marijuana.

Canada now allows commercial cannabinoid production from hemp, too.

“Hemp is here to stay from a regulatory point of view,” Jones said.

The CHTA also appointed Ted Haney president of the group during the organization’s annual conference.

Haney will also serve as chief executive officer. He previously held the role of executive director.