Canadians eye research initiative to explore applications, genetics

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The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) says it is exploring a research project totaling almost $5 million over the next five years to boost industry standards, explore hemp’s many applications and develop plant genetics.

The project would look specifically at standards for quality and safety; livestock feed applications; and human health applications, CHTA said in a release.

First research project completed

CHTA just completed a $330,500 project that focused on safety and quality in Canadian hemp, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the government’s Growing Forward 2, Agri-Risk Initiatives program.

The project, was a collaboration between the CHTA and Toronto-based Agri-Neo Inc., a food safety specialist, that focused on determining safe and cost-effective prevention and mitigation techniques for the control of pathogens in industrial hemp. The project also delivered Best Management Practices training to producers and processors.

Developing policies

CHTA said it will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to develop policies and regulations aimed at facilitating growth while at the same time protecting consumers in markets around the world where Canadian hemp products are sold.

The Canadian federal government will provide direct financial support and work with provincial governments and industry to further help fund the project.

The not-for-profit CHTA represents more than 260 growers across nine Canadian provinces as well as processors, distributors, developers and researchers.

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