The Cannabis Act and its regulations are delivering big for Canada's industrial hemp industry: the much-desired and long-awaited right to sell the whole industrial hemp plant.

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act currently regulates the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp in Canada.. Under this regime, only certain parts of the industrial hemp plant (the stems and stalks) can be sold.

Further to our previous update, the new Industrial Hemp Regulations made under the Cannabis Act (the 2018 IHR) have been published. These will replace the existing Industrial Hemp Regulations made under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Effective October 17, 2018, the 2018 IHR will regulate the cultivation, sale, import and export of industrial hemp in Canada.

Similar to the existing Industrial Hemp Regulations, the 2018 IHR are largely devoted to licensing and post-licensing requirements, with some changes to reduce the regulatory burden on the industry to better reflect the low-risk nature of industrial hemp and the longstanding experience of both Health Canada and the industry of growing industrial hemp in a controlled fashion.

Among the biggest news coming out of the new regime for regulating cannabis is industrial hemp farmers' new ability to sell the whole plant, including the cannabinoid-rich leaves, flowering heads and branches to other federal license holders.

It should come as no surprise that many industry watchdogs are putting a spotlight on industrial hemp, particularly given that the plant is rich in cannabidiol (CBD), one of the most highly sought-after phytocannabinoids. We are watching with great interest as this Canadian industry continues to develop.

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