Pubdate: Wed, 14 Feb 2001
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: John Miner


Hemp will be cultivated in Southwestern Ontario fields again this 
summer despite growing pains in developing markets for the formerly 
illegal crop.

Hempline Inc., based in Delaware, will be contracting farmers to grow 
the crop again this year, the company's president, Geoff Kime, said 

Kime said Hempline is still deciding how much acreage it needs and 
should reach a decision in about two weeks. Kime said he expects the 
acreage will be up from last season. About 320 hectares of hemp were 
grown in Ontario last year.

Hempline and Kenex Ltd., based in Chatham-Kent, are the two main hemp 
processors in Ontario.

Kime said the market for hemp fibre is growing in the auto parts 
sector with hemp used to replace glass fibre materials. "It is really 
starting to take off."

Hemp has the advantage of being lighter than fibreglass, is easily 
recycled and is as economical, he said.

"We're looking at scaling up our operation due to demand."

But Bob L'Ecuyer, general manager at Kenex, said his company still 
hasn't decided if it will grow any hemp.

"It will depend on market conditions. We're still working off past 
acreages," L'Ecuyer said yesterday.

L'Ecuyer expects Kenex will make its decision by mid-April.

"I would say the acreage will be minimal," he said.

Kenex also markets its hemp for the production of automotive composites.

"It's an emerging market," L'Ecuyer said.

Hemp, used for the production of everything from clothing to ropes, 
was banned in Canada in 1938 under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act. 
That ban was lifted in 1998 by Health Minister Allan Rock.
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MAP posted-by: Kirk Bauer