HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Hemp Field Day Looks For Huge Potential In Crop
Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jul 2004
Source: Chatham This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Chatham This Week
Author: Don Robinet
Bookmark: (Hemp - Outside U.S.)


Chatham This Week -- It's a product that still tends to get a lot of
smirks and one-liners, but the growing of hemp is legal in Canada, and
its proponents say the sky is the limit in what can be done with the
plant -- which is the tame, not-for-getting-high relative of marijuana.

Speaking at the Ontario Hemp Alliance (OHA) field day held at
Ridgetown College last Friday, OHA president Gordon Scheifele called
it "the most significant hemp event in Canada this summer."

The amount of hemp grown in Ontario is minuscule -- just a few hundred
acres, but Scheifele points out that it's at a four-year high and he
promotes the potential of the plant as the basis of a new "green"
industry that sees its seeds and its fibre turned into everything from
ingredients used in salad dressing, to flour used in making muffins,
to clothing and even turned into products that find their way into
cars, such as part of the door panels.

"We have moved in a phenomenal way and made phenomenal progress," said

"It hasn't been without its challenges," he added, but he has
witnessed success stories in person. Earlier this year he was part of
a delegation to Germany that visited hemp farms and production
facilities in that country. Some models of the Mercedes Benz have hemp
fibre in some vehicle components.

He notes that European production of the plant is helped in part by
government subsidies. Over there, the main use of hemp grain is
chicken feed, although a plethora of uses have been found. It's also
commonly used in the pulp and paper industry and in building
materials, as horse bedding and as a natural insulation.

While more specialized uses may be years down the road, he sees
success in growing hemp for its grain and in processing its straw for
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