Hemp fibre processors plan facilities in Alberta

From      THE WESTERN PRODUCER

Article by Barb Glensave-forest-plant-hemp-farm

One hemp fibre plant will be built and another is probable in southern Alberta, according to officials from two different companies.

Cylab International plans to move its operations from China to an undetermined location in southern Alberta.

“It’s definitely going ahead,” said Cylab chief executive officer Brett Boag Jan. 17.

“We are still determining the place. We have a lab pretty much set up in Springbank.”

Boag said the $32 million plant will process hemp fibre into construction materials, animal bedding and other products. Biofuel will be a byproduct.

Plant decortication capacity will be 10 tonnes per hour.

The plant will also extract oils from hemp leaves and stalks for use as a binding agent. In the longer term, there are plans to extract cannabidiol from the oil for pharmaceutical use in pain relief and weight control medications.

Cylab expects to employ 70 people.

Boag has already spoken to farmers in the Lethbridge and Taber areas about growing hemp this year for use when the plant is operational in 2015.

“They are highly receptive. Its quite amazing actually.”

The purchase price is still in negotiation, Boag said.

Cylab has operated a plant in China for eight years. In the last five years, it began to replace cheap Chinese glass fibre with hemp fibre, much of it imported from Germany via Manitoba. Manufactured product was then shipped to the United States, the primary market.

“Doing it here, for us it makes so much sense,” he said, noting the region’s proximity to the U.S.

The other plant likely to build in Alberta is called Stemia, which has identified a site near Chin, as the location for a flax and hemp straw decortication plant that will make products for construction, automotive and paper industries.

Mike Duckett of Stemia said its proposed $32 million plant is probable but not yet confirmed, and he expects to know more in two to three months.

“Everything is moving forward slightly slower than I’d hoped, but it is moving forward positively at the moment.”

He anticipates construction will start in April if all goes according to plan.

Manitoba Harvest, which produces edible hemp seed products, is also seeking to increase contracted acreage in southern Alberta this year.

“We’re very optimistic about the dual income stream possibilities for building both the grain and the fibre at the same time so that farmers can take advantage of both those income streams,” said Alberta Agriculture biomaterials development officer Lori-Jo Graham. “If we get these two (manufacturing plants) established, we will really be the centre for hemp straw processing.”

Drug Policy Historian Alan Gordon Claims Bermuda Paper Is First of Its Kind, Anywhere

A new government-commissioned report in Bermuda recommends that the island nation should “decriminalize personal possession and personal cultivation immediately,” and “develop a phased approach to cannabis reform and policies that limit potential of Bermudians being denied access to the United States.”

Bermuda’s independent Cannabis Reform Collaborative (CRC) on Friday, May 9 issued “An Analysis of Cannabis Reform in Bermuda,” which is being called the world’s first government-commissioned independently-assessed specific recommended mechanism to remove criminal/civil penalties for cannabis production and supply, as well as possession and use, says drug policy historian and Bermudian activist Alan Gordon.

Gordon, who was previously (1996-1998) the Executive Director of the American Drug History Institute, says that while previous nationally-commissioned independent review panels have recommended cannabis legalization, the CRC’s appears to be the first to propose a specific mechanism — in this case, permission to non-commercially grow up to 8 mature cannabis plants at home, with limited cannabis club and retail licensure.

“There is strong evidence and a growing conviction globally that the international ‘war on drugs’ has been an epic failure in terms of its stated objectives to stamp out drug use and eliminate supply: since the ‘war of drugs’ was implemented, use/demand along with supply has dramatically increased,” the reports executive summary states,” reports Bernews.

As for medical marijuana, the CRC recommends taking “immediate action to enable access to medical cannabis with a prescription to individuals by way of a regulation under the existing legislation until such time as revised legislation is drafted.”

Gordon, who has been sharply critical of CRC member opinions in the months leading up to the report released Friday, says he was “surprised and caught off guard” by how progressive the final report turned out to be, particularly with regard to the report’s explanation of the immediate necessity of medical cannabis access.

Gordon says the “decrim vs. legalization” dispute was skillfully settled by advising the “decriminalization” of home cultivation — a method of acquisition previously relegated to the term “legalization” — possibly in order to avoid frightening the few remaining members of the public who are opposed to reform.

Gordon also praised the Island’s Premier, Craig Cannonier, who was quoted by the Island’s daily print newspaper, The Royal Gazette, as saying: “I am particularly keen to hear the views of MPs on the medical use of marijuana and also on decriminalisation — a tough issue because we have to draw the clearest line between responsible behaviour and the negative impact the existing regime has had on the lives of so many Bermudians.”

The CRC was commissioned by the Hon. Michael Dunkley, Bermuda Minister of Public Safety, in order to examine all facets of cannabis policy and make an advisory report to Parliament, after local volunteers Stratton Hatfield and Khomeini Talib-Din separately approached the Minister offering to produce a review of options. Other CRC researchers included:

• Lamar Caines, financial analyst
• Julia Van Belen, sustainable building and landscape architect/designer
• Cordell Riley, statistician and racial equality scholar
• Dr. Ernest Peets, substance abuse counselor
• Robyn Swan , corrections officer
• Kyle Bridgewater, health food retailer
• Alex Jones, consultant and extreme windsurfer
• Harry Masters and Joleesa Simons, policy analysts

Minister Dunkley tabled the report “for the information of Honourable Members,” stating “I am pleased to table the Final Advisory Document inviting this House to take note of its contents.”

Dunkley said “the team at the Ministry of National Security is currently reviewing the contents of the report and the resulting recommendations,” adding “It must be noted however that cannabis policy in Bermuda is far reaching, affecting our social, health and economic climate and therefore requires a holistic approach to reform.

“Where it is found that reform is in fact warranted, changes will only be made in a measured fashion with careful consideration of the Bermudian context,” Dunkleys statement reads

– See more at: http://hemp.org/news/content/bermuda-government-board-recommends-immediate-decrim-marijuana-possession-cultivation#sthash.9cFxb6dS.dpuf

JanetHemp fibre processors plan facilities in Alberta