Each week, Business of Cannabis delivers a weekly series of insights from our partners at Cannabis Benchmarks®. This week’s Benchmark Update focuses industrial hemp cultivation licenses in Canada.
Health Canada recently released 2019 data on Canada’s growing industrial hemp industry.
Available statistics show dramatic fluctuations in cultivation licenses, but given that farmers can apply for a license anywhere from almost a year ahead of to just before harvest, cultivation license figures may not directly reflect actual hemp growing activity.
Hectarage registered for hemp cultivation expanded by almost 20% from 2018 to 2019, reaching 37,435 hectares registered at just over 1,100 sites. The data also shows that 42% of the country’s total hectarage registered for hemp cultivation in 2019 was for the type of hemp with “flowering heads, leaves, and branches” – high-CBD varieties in other words – more than the hectarage registered for either grain or fiber hemp.
Available data is spotty, but suggests that no CBD varieties were approved and grown in Canada in 2018. If so, then hemp for CBD went from nonexistent to the leading production target in Canada in just one year.