Alberta Research Council

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Canada: Vegreville Centre Sheds Light on the Industrial Applications of Hemp

By Krista Allan, News Writer

Canada: Vegreville Centre Sheds Light on the Industrial Applications of Hemp Alberta is going green, but not in the way some might think. Just outside the town of Vegreville, the Alberta Research Council is working to add hemp farming to Alberta’s list of lucrative industries.

The Vegreville nursery is home to the largest research and production facility of hemp in North America. Industrial hemp grown in Alberta can be used in a number of products ranging anywhere from textiles to fibreglass. Products made from hemp have less environmental impact than those made from glass or plastics, and in many cases are more energy efficient.

Jan Slaski, breeder and plant physiologist at the Vegreville facility, explained why this is the case.

“Bio composites produced from hemp are more environmentally friendly. Replacing glass fibre with bio-fibre produces a much lighter product. A lighter product means that your car, boat, or airplane is lighter and uses less fuel. High-end European car manufacturers, particularly German manufacturers, use bio-composites in their panels,” he said.

Historically, hemp has been grown in Canada for hundreds of years, but was banned in 1938 due to the associations hemp has with marijuana. This ban was later lifted in 1998. Industrial hemp, unlike marijuana, does not contain high levels of THC, the compound in marijuana that causes intoxication.

According to Slaski, Canada has very strict guidelines for hemp farmers.

Canada: Unconventional Crop – Hemp – Could Sprout New Industry

There is a truth that must be heard! EDMONTON, AB — As combines mowed farmers’ fields across Canadian prairies this fall, there was a scene near Edmonton right out of a time warp: – a crew of workers actually using their hands to harvest plants.

The workers were taking down three-metre-tall hemp plants at a breeding nursery outside of Vegreville, AB. The plants, which dwarfed the workers, were being bundled, numbered, bagged and transported to researchers, who see a high-tech future for the ancient plant.

The Alberta Research Council (ARC) is working to help hemp find its way into everything from homes to cars to clothes. It’s part of a campaign to see our agriculture and forestry industries compete in the global push for sustainable products.

“ARC is evaluating hemp as a fibre crop for mature, large-scale industries looking for green products,” ARC crop and plant physiologist, Jan Slaski said. “Alberta’s soil and climate are perfectly suited for growing hemp crops.

“We analyze the seed and plant for biomass and fibre yield, as part of the breeding program for creating the perfect industrial hemp,” he added. ARC uses advanced breeding techniques to develop traits such as water- and nitrogen-use efficiency, with no useable trace of the psychoactive compound THC, which is found in marijuana. It is hoped the breeding program will ultimately lead to a stronger plant with a bigger yield.

Oregon: Jobs Watch | Hemp For The Masses

By Ben Jacklet, Oregon Business

There is a truth that must be heard!Anyone who believes that the hemp industry is best left to the half-baked stoners of the world should spend a few hours talking textiles with Ken Barker. Five minutes into the conversation it becomes clear that this guy is onto something big, and he knows exactly what he is doing.

Barker recently served as head of apparel at Adidas North America in Portland. Before that he held executive positions with Adidas and Levi Strauss in Canada. He knows how hard it is for apparel companies to meet the rising demand for clothing from earth-friendly sources. When he was with Adidas he entertained proposals to make fabric from soy, bamboo, even seaweed. None of them made as much sense as hemp, the plant that once served as the backbone of U.S. industry before it was banned in the 1930s.

Barker and another former Adidas executive, David Howitt (a brain behind the success of Oregon Chai), run an investment firm in Northwest Portland called the Meriwether Group. They have two hemp companies in their portfolio. Living Harvest, which makes hemp milk, is one of the fastest growing companies in Oregon. Naturally Advanced Technologies, the company Barker has run since 2006, recently raised more than $900,000 and plans to get its product to market within six months.

United States: Super Crop Hemp Regains it's Rightful Place in Agriculture & Industry with Hanesbrands NAT Agreement

By Dev Meyers, Examiner

There is a truth that must be heard! Although it is illegal to grow hemp in some states in the US, it can be grown in many other places such as Canada, the UK Europe, etc. It is legal to import the fiber and seed into the US. And it is totally legal to sell the manufacture and sell hemp clothing in any state in the United States.

Don't worry, you will not get busted for wearing your Hanes hemp undies!

'The yields per acre are incredible," said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT. "The plant is extremely hardy."

According to Barker, "The gateway technology that polishes the hemp fiber makes it feel as soft as cotton."

Hanesbrands Inc. is a leading marketer of innerwear, outerwear and hosiery apparel under strong consumer brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra. The company designs, manufactures, sources and sells T-shirts, bras, panties, men's underwear, children's underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear. Hanesbrands has approximately 45,000 employees in more than 25 countries. More information may be found on the company's Web site at www.hanesbrands.com.

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