Seed World

4/19: A Red Letter Day for the Hemp Sector

April 19, 2021, was an important day for Canada’s hemp sector, when Health Canada released its 2021 list of approved hemp cultivars for commercial cultivation for licensed growers. For the first time, the list includes varieties suited to outdoor CBD production.

Several American varieties were added to the list, including three varieties from Colorado’s Charlotte’s Web, which are among the first hemp CBD cultivars on the list that are early flowering and early maturing for outdoor cultivation and harvesting within the shorter Canadian growing season.

The approved cultivars include the Company’s original “CW1AS1” U.S. patented genetics, clearing the way for Charlotte’s Web to cultivate its CBD wellness products in Canada in 2021. Currently, Charlotte’s Web Products and others included on the new list are not easily available in Canada because laws do not allow for bulk importing of USA grown hemp CBD or related products into Canada, the company noted.

Despite Canada being one of the first countries to federally legalize the sale of cannabis, the hemp CBD wellness category is underdeveloped in Canada, with limited offerings of quality full-spectrum hemp extract products, Charlotte’s Web noted in a news release.

To be an approved hemp cultivar in Canada, the variety’s THC level be 0.3% or below. Currently, Health Canada treats hemp CBD under the same regulatory regime as cannabis THC. The Canadian hemp industry is lobbying the Canadian federal government to change the regulations for hemp CBD to a natural health supplement that could be added to food, drinks, cosmetics and other wellness products.

Cross-Border Partnerships Announced

Humboldt Seed Company, the largest legal cannabis seed seller in California, is partnering with British Columbia-based Nymera to offer the first feminized, Pro-Cert organic-certified seeds in the world to Canadian and global markets. For the first time, Canadian licensed producers will have ready and consistent access to these time-tested heritage genetics and new varietals.

The organic certified seeds are grown by Nymera on its 86 acres of farmland in Westwold, B.C., where Humboldt Seed Company’s cannabis breeding specialists guided the effort from day one.

Pro-Cert is accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to provide third-party certification to the Canadian Organic Regime (COR) and its equivalency arrangements. This protection, along with the expertise gained by Humboldt Seed Company founder and CEO Nathaniel Pennington after decades of phenotype hunting and genetics development in Humboldt County and elsewhere, is now available by way of several notable varietals, including Apple Blossom Auto, Magic Melon Auto, All Gas OG, Royal Highness, Vanilla Frosting, Trainwreck, and cult favorite Blueberry Muffin, the companies said.

Alberta-based ANC will handle the relationship with the provincial boards and distribution throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Tritium 3H Accepts Seed Order for Import into Canada

California-based Arcadia Biosciences announced that three of its GoodHemp varieties have earned approval from Health Canada. This approval follows the recent certification of GoodHemp seed varieties by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) and is the final step to enable hemp seed sales in Canada.

GoodHemp seed varieties and genetics are being distributed in Canada by Tritium 3H (T3H), which specializes in hemp field testing, certified seed production, commercialization and distribution of industrial hemp varieties. The approval from Health Canada broadens the
geographic opportunities for GoodHemp and enables growers to access high quality seeds through Tritium for the 2021 growing season, the companies said.

“The Health Canada approval demonstrates the stability and compliance of our cultivars,” said Arcadia CEO Matt Plavan. “We are happy to report we have already shipped the first GoodHemp seed order to Tritium 3H to bring our CBD-dominant, short-day varieties to Canada’s industrial hemp growers for the 2021 planting season.”

GoodHemp varieties approved by Health Canada include:

  • Umpqua: CBD-dominant, early photoperiod variety for both the smokable and CBD extraction markets.
  • Rogue: CBD-dominant, high-yielding intermediate photoperiod variety for the CBD extraction markets.
  • Santiam: CBD-dominant, early photoperiod variety with exceptional utility in northern latitudes for both the smokable and CBD extraction markets.