Londoner eyes opportunities with hemp compound CBD

But Canadian farmers face hurdle to carve out market share.

But unlike most entrepreneurs flocking to cash in on Canada’s recreational marijuana market, Hodgson is going down a different path.

The Londoner is opening a plant in St. Thomas to extract cannabidiol (CBD), a component that doesn’t get you high, from hemp plants.

Hodgson, president of GreenLeaf Productions, sees massive potential in CBD, a compound being touted for its potential to treat everything from anxiety and seizures to inflammation and pain.

He’s in the process of converting a former tool-and-dye plant on Barrie Boulevard into a 12,000-square-foot extraction facility.

The federal government’s move to end its 95-year prohibition on marijuana last month also allowed hemp farmers to begin selling the flowers from their plants to be processed for CBD oil, a move welcomed by the hemp industry.

But Canada’s hemp farmers still face a hurdle that their counterparts south of the border don’t have to deal with, Hodgson said.

Canadian hemp farmers are allowed to choose from fewer than 20 strains of the plant, all of which have low concentrations of CBD, typically between 1.5 and four per cent. Americans hemp growers, however, can choose from a wider selection of strains, some of them containing up to 20 per cent CBD.

Hodgson wants the government to allow Canada’s hemp growers to plant strains with more CBD.

“If Canada doesn’t loosen up those strains, I think that the Americans will take the whole CBD market in North America,” he said. “They’ll be a powerhouse internationally, too.”

The American CBD market is expected to grow to $2.1 billion, up from $202 million in 2015, according to the Hemp Business Journal.

Canada is among the top hemp producers in the world — around 55,000 hectares of the crop is farmed annually — with the bulk of the operations concentrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Hemp is also produced in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

A variety of the cannabis plant, hemp must have less than 0.3 per cent THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana that give users a euphoric feeling. Hemp fibres and stalks are used in everything from clothing and construction materials to paper and plastic composites. The seeds are used to make things like cosmetics, paint, granola and cereal.

After Hodgson’s plant opens in the spring, he plans to sell CBD oil to licensed marijuana producers and work with micro-growers on extraction, but he ultimately wants to make CBD-infused edibles and partner with beverage companies, many of which are thirsty to get into the emerging market.

“We’re looking at being able to modify or do what they require of the CBD,” he said.

In September, a World Health Organization committee on drug dependence released preliminary findings on its reviews of cannabis-related substances that are currently subject to international control. It concluded that CBD shouldn’t be placed under international drug control because it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, or potential for abuse or dependence.

However, the international agency stopped short of endorsing CBD for medicinal use, citing the lack of research showing its benefits.

lfpress.com
Mike Hodgson cannabis
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Children living in London boroughs with high diesel pollution suffer from stunted lung capacity, putting them at risk of early death, a study has said. Pupils living in areas that failed to meet EU nitrogen dioxide limits were at increased risk of lung disease, researchers found. The research studied 2,000 London school children over five years. "We are raising a generation of children reaching adulthood with stunted lungs," researchers said. Academics fro...
Incidents
A private school teacher has been left partially blind after another woman smashed a glass in her face during a night out.  Lisa Bertsch, 30, was at the Be At One bar in Richmond when she was hit in her right eye. The tumbler shattered and left Ms Bertsch, who lives with her boyfriend in Kingston, needing emergency surgery. She said the attack happened when she tried to stop the assailant pouring a cocktail over her friend’s belongings. Ms Bertsch added th...
Society
Discarded syringes have been left in play areas and car parks as a BBC investigation found councils were being called 50 times a day to remove them. Figures obtained by the BBC showed councils handled 18,496 cases in 2017-18, a rise of 7% in two years. A volunteer pricked by a discarded needle has told how he faces a wait for HIV and hepatitis test results. The Department for Communities and Local Government said it was "committed to doing more to reduce d...
Society
The German Zeppelin bombing campaign of London during WWI has been brought to the fore again days before the centenary of the war in a film made by schoolchildren. The first ever example of strategic bombing in history - a tactic used in total war with the goal of defeating the enemy by destroying their morale or economy - was during the First World War Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II initially banned attacks on the capital because of his close connection to the...
Society
London’s busiest train station has recruited a hawk to scare off pigeons following a spate of complaints from angry passengers. Aria, a five-year-old harris hawk, has begun patrolling Waterloostation in a bid to stop people having to “fight" off pigeons while eating. There are 27 food and drink retailers at the Network Rail-managed station, and many customers have complained about pigeons pecking at food and leaving a mess. The birds have been pictured sit...
Society
London City Airport is going to fine airlines for breaching noise limits after a surge in complaints from residents.  The airport, based in the Royal Docks, has launched a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online. Bosses revealed the airport had seen a spike in complaints since launching concentrated flight paths in February 2016. The paths were changed after new air traffic control technology was b...
Society
The Crossrail delay will cost Transport for London almost £200 million next year in lost revenue, the Standard has learned. Latest calculations suggest the expected nine-month delay to the completion of the Elizabeth Line, first revealed in August, will cost the cash-strapped body almost £550,000-a-day.  TfL, which has a deficit of around £1bn, has told the London Assembly it will miss out on £170million income from passenger fares and up to £20million in...
Society
Motorists who park in cycle lanes in one of London’s “Mini Holland” boroughs could have their residents’ parking permits revoked, council chiefs warned today. A crackdown on illegal parking has been launched by Waltham Forest council amid growing anger at the way some drivers are blocking the new routes.  They are being introduced under a £30 million initiative to encourage walking and cycling by building Dutch-style segregated routes, including a three-mi...
Society
‘Only a bloody stark raving alcoholic is bloody drunk at 1.30pm in the afternoon,’ says Air India pilot. A senior Air India pilot was grounded after he failed breathalyser tests shortly before a flight from New Delhi to London on Sunday. Arvind Kathpalia, who is responsible for safety at the airline as operations director, denied drinking on the job and said he would contest the results of the alcohol checks. “It was 1.30pm in the afternoon, only a bloody...