Canada Eases Hemp Restrictions


Although it's going slowly, Canada is in the process of legalizing cannabis; newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it a campaign promise, with lawmakers fast at work drafting legislation (that will be available for public comment later this month). With this in mind, Health Canada has announced that it has drastically eased the process in which someone in the country can grow hemp, cannabis' non-psychoactive cousin.

As part of the move Health Canada has issued an exemption to the nation's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for those involved in the cultivation of industrial hemp; this includes removing the minimum acreage requirement for hemp cultivation, allowing anyone with even a small field to grow the crop.

According to Health Canada, the move “better aligns regulation of industrial hemp with the demonstrated low public health and safety risk of the crop.”

Here are some of the changes being made;

  • Planning sites no longer will need to be pre-approved, and applicants will no longer need to submit GPS and map coordinates.
  • One hemp license will cover all cultivation sites, removing the requirement of obtaining multiple licenses for multiple crops.
  • THC testing is no longer required for those growing hemp for grain and fiber.
  • Applications will be accepted via e-mail, rather than exclusively in-person.

For those wanting to apply, they must submit an application with the Office of Controlled Substances Applicants must live in Canada and be at least 18 years old; a criminal background check will be issued, and applications will be denied if they have a drug offense from the past 10 years.

If you have any questions about the nation's hemp program or applying for a license, Industrial Hemp Section of the Office of Controlled Substances can be reached directly at 613-954-7799 or through email at