Pubdate: Wed, 06 Aug 2003
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Duncan News Leader
Author: Peter Rusland
Bookmark: (Hemp - Outside U.S.)


Lake Cowichan Won't Likely Be Renamed Hempville.

But that's the name of B.C.'s first showcase hemp mill and village
still planned by Transglobal Hemp Products Corp. just outside Lake

Spokesman Brian Johnson says since he began cultivating his vision and
venture capital idea to investors two years ago, his firm has secured
a deal for a five-acre site near Meade Creek with Lake landlord Dave

"We've given him five figures so far," Johnson said, declining to
outline financial details of his $2-million project.

Transglobal also has architectural drawings completed and has lined up
some tradespeople. It's prepaid for its building materials and is
"proceeding through the financing for the mill however long it takes."

Once the industrially zoned site is incorporated into the town and
serviced with municipal water and sewer, Transglobal aims to build a
hemp press and dehulling mill to process hemp grown by Island farmers.

Hempville will also feature a theatre and other buildings built with
hemp concrete floors, insulation, and roofing.

"It'll be very much a customized building."

While Transglobal expects an 18-month wait to start at the lake, the
company plans to build a temporary mill in a shareholder's building in
Victoria then shift that operation to the lake.

By kickstarting the mill, Johnson hopes to sow more hemp farming on
the Island and initiate more investors in his project.

There are currently no hemp growers in Cowichan but some is being
harvested near Campbell River.

Johnson's determined to launch his project despite recent press
spotlights on medical marijuana availability and decriminalization of

By law, hemp cannot contain any psychoactive drug compounds.

"Our dream hasn't changed, it's just been usurped by legalization of

"Hemp's old news but it needs to be grown on the Island where we have
perfect growing conditions.

"We'll break even the first year. I'm going to stay at this for the
rest of my life," he vowed. "Persistence will pay off."

His firm had also signed a memorandum of understanding and received a
decree from the government of Laos in the fall to build two hemp mills

But feasibility funding from the Canadian International Development
Agency was canceled in March due to "geopolitical pressures, which
means potential war in North Korea," he said.

However, Transglobal is still working to develop mills in Thailand,
Hungary and Cuba.

Meanwhile, Johnson says $600 million worth of mills could be developed
by his company on the Island to manufacture pulp, paper, textiles,
beverages, building materials, food, and cosmetics.

"The hemp industry's evolving around us but it still has the U.S.
fighting it all the way.

"It's just a question of when our mill gets built but without a mill
you don't have a market." 
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin