Ontario moves to take hemp out of marijuana regulations, setting up Canadian hemp wave

In a decision that could set a global precedent for hemp production, the Canadian province of Ontario decided hemp won’t be regulated the same as marijuana, leaving cannabis below 0.3% THC under the regulation of agriculture authorities.

Canada is among the world’s largest hemp producers but is just starting to allow CBD extraction from hemp – a change that comes alongside the country’s emerging regulations for adult-use marijuana.

Ontario’s move could see other provinces and territories also carve hemp out of their marijuana regulations.

That would be welcome news for many Canadian hemp entrepreneurs anticipating new market opportunities from CBD production in a country that grew an estimated 138,000 acres of hemp last year, almost all of it for seed production.

“A number of my clients will see this as an opportunity to move forward with CBD,” said Wendy Hulton, a Toronto attorney who represents cannabis producers.

Meanwhile, state governments in the United States are struggling with how to regulate hemp extracts alongside marijuana.

Just last week, Michigan health authorities ruled that CBD oils would be regulated in the same manner as marijuana extracts, putting a big question mark on CBD products derived from hemp.

In Oregon, marijuana regulators are starting to enforce a new rule that puts hemp extracts to the same testing and safety standards as marijuana when the two products are sold alongside each other.

And late last month, a federal appeals court in California extended CBD’s legal confusion nationwide by upholding a Drug Enforcement Administration “marihuana extract” rule that deems CBD a controlled substance if it comes from marijuana.

CBD’s legal mess in the United States could give Canadian hemp producers a strong market advantage if more provinces follow Ontario’s lead, said Jenn Larry, president of CBD Strategy Group, a Montreal-based consulting firm for cannabis companies.

“Creating a distinction between hemp and cannabis is super important,” she said. “It’s a big reason people are turning to the comfort of these hemp-based CBD products.”

But Larry pointed out that Canadian hemp extracts won’t necessarily avoid close regulation just because they’re not regulated like marijuana.

Health Canada, the agency that regulates medical marijuana, has a division called the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate that regulates nutritional supplements and non-prescription drugs. That agency, instead of agriculture authorities, is likely to end up the regulator for CBD extracts.

“Hemp has not yet been approved as a medical product, and we have not yet seen a full framework of what the hemp regulations will include,” Larry said.

For now, Canada has its own share of CBD regulatory headaches. Just last week, Las Vegas-based hemp company HempWorx suspended Canadian sales after a report by CBC News raised questions about the product’s legality.

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6 comments on “Ontario moves to take hemp out of marijuana regulations, setting up Canadian hemp wave
  1. Tara on

    Might want to check your info for validity and to find some clarification. Oregon licenses everyone who is in the cannabis industry. They test for pesticides, mold, disease, and CBD/THC amounts. It is then entered into a data base. ONLY products mixed with sativa and/or indica cannabis are entered into the marijuana tracking system because it contains THC. Hemp based CBD alone is not tracked nor regulated the same. It falls under the department of agriculture. So it is much less regulated. Hemp seeds are actually considered a type of nut. We tend to test out around 1% THC from hemp and do not regulate at that amount as you can not get any psychotropic effects from that small of an amount. I will also mention that not only do we have companies here producing strictly hemp based products, but we also sell hemp based products from Canada as well. I have a jar of lotion from Canada to be exact, that very legally was shipped here for sale.again…please double check your facts and make sure you clarify your information.

    Reply
      • bob on

        You are correct, all Canadian Government’s sanctioned corps CBD oil is just that Hemp oil (Extract from Male Plants). CBD has been overstated, because Government aims to restrict THC as low as they can, this is the main objective of the Cannabis Act.

        secondly, sanctioned growers Hemp oil is NOT smokeable, they are vegetable oil products for baking only, which is not how the majority of Recreational users consume it. Legalization is a mirage, and will be nothing like recreational users will recognize.

        Reply
  2. bob on

    This is what the greedy LP’s are in this for, because they can’t compete for Quality with Gray and blackmarket growers. Once they have control of hemp, their fat wallets see their millions turn to Billions for sales of Beer, food, Transportation, Hemp water, and Hemp Air. Thing is None of these LP’s can produce Recreational Buds, let alone Medical Cannabis.

    Reply
  3. Frank Romano on

    would like some help on what kind of (seed) to use in Blithe Ca. to grow Hemp plants for CBD, it gets over 115 f some times in the summer months??

    Reply
  4. Linda on

    I have many testimonials from people on how the CBD oil has helped them with medical issues. Even many testimonials on people using CBD oil for their pets, even one that no longer has seizures. We have Chiropractors recommending it for pain and even for his 85 year old mother who can’t sleep because she broke her hip a couple of years ago and brought her pain down from a 9 to a 3 so she’s finally able to get some sleep. To me CBD oil is the best thing that ever came out. I had cancer and will never be without it.

    Reply

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