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Canada’s hemp prospects and problems mirror those of U.S., says USDA


Across the U.S., states have made differing moves toward legalizing or promoting CBD and hemp since the federal government made industrial hemp legal in 2018.


This brings certain confusions and uncertainties from state to state, but these problems that are being ironed out as time goes on haven’t arisen in a vacuum. North of the border, Canada has faced similar legal questions and concerns around industrial hemp cultivation, according to a recent report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The report, released August 26, analyzes the situation of legal cannabis in Canada but also trade of the products between the U.S. and the Great White North. [1]


Previous statements by the USDA made it clear that law enforcement should not interfere with interstate hemp trade because of the federal legalization of the crop, but Canadian-American trade in hemp and related goods required further scrutiny.


Canada legalized industrial hemp and CBD with the 2018 Cannabis Act, and has since seen a very similar explosion of products and companies dealing in the crop and its derivatives.


Like others in America and around the world, Canadians use CBD for a wide array of personal issues they’d rather not rely on harmful or addictive pharmaceuticals to resolve.


These include anxiety, chronic pain, certain forms of epilepsy and inflammation.


While plenty more research is needed to fully explain how CBD effects the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, testimonials keep piling up about how many people have their lives improved by hemp products.


According to the USDA report, over 75,000 acres of industrial hemp were planted in Canada in 2018. In September of that year, the government put over $330,000 CAD into a research and oversight trade group, called the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. [1]


Within the inquiry, the USDA found the Canadians regulate cannabis and CBD rather strictly, as in the U.S. However, while the Canadian government follows the U.S. guideline for a maximum of 0.3% THC in CBD products, it also includes separate regulatory categories for pet products, as well as retail and prescription offerings. [1]


In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t clarified the rules surrounding CBD in food and drink products, despite consumer, industry and legislative pressures for the FDA to come forward with clear and simple rules to allow the market to flourish.


In Canada, the story is similar. While the Cannabis Act lays out some ground rules, many eager investors and entrepreneurs are waiting for more detail before biting into the apple.


MSN reports that demand for CBD products has continued to surpass the limited grower base since 2018, leading to wide-spread shortages in that time. [2]


Sources

[1] https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Industrial%20Hemp%20Production%20Trade%20and%20Regulation_Ottawa_Canada_8-26-2019.pdf

[2] https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/the-latest-usda-report-shows-similar-state-of-cbd-affairs-in-canada-us/ar-AAGU2js

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