Canada: New Hemp Plant First for Eastern Ontario

By Cameron Ginn

Sometime over the next two years, Stonehedge Inc., a plant research and development company based in Stirling, is slated to build North America’s first hemp bio-refinery in eastern Ontario, a $20-million business venture not without its obstacles.

“We haven’t received government funding yet, but we do have an application with the federal government for one major envelope of funds. All they’re really concerned about is if we have any private sector money invested yet,” says John Baker, founder and chairman of Stonehedge Bio Resources Inc.
“Before the government kicks in and starts participating, they want to see somebody that put in real cash. So if they’re not at the table as we go forward, that won’t be a good sign.”

Baker, who envisions whole cities encircled with carbon sequestering hemp crops, has collected an excess of $2-million in private sector investments over the past two years, a major step forward, says Gerrit DeBruyn, executive director at Trenval Business Development Corporation, which has provided Baker with a public sector loan of up to $150,000.

“There’s no question it’s a high risk loan because the refinery is so out of the box. Hemp cultivation is obviously doing very well in the U.K. and in Germany, but we still have to deal with the North American market,” says DeBruyn. “The plan itself is very strong but dependent on a few other investors coming together. With John already getting the private sector dollars, it’s a tremendous step forward.”

Canada: Hemp Refiner Expected To Provide New Income For 200 Farmers

By Joyce Cassin, Cobourg Daily Star

After nearly 10 years of research and development in industrial hemp, Stonehedge Bio- Resources Inc. of Sterling is ready to lead the way in commercializing hemp in North America. Building on a business case developed through the Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network (ELORIN), Stonehedge is now set to establish a bioprocessing facility in Eastern Ontario to serve North American markets. Some of the products and co-products are aimed at the automotive, energy, agriculture, construction material, and pulp and paper markets. This fibre separation facility (decortication plant) is expected to provide new farm income for about 200 farmers, putting more than 12,000 acres into cultivation, said John Baker, president and founder of Stonehedge.

Source: CN ON: Hemp Refiner Expected To Provide New Income For 200 Farmers

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Canada: Hemp-Processing Plant to Open in Eastern Ontario

By The Canadian Press

An Ontario company says it has secured $2 million from investors to open the first North American bio-processing plant for industrial hemp.

Stonehedge Bio-Resources Inc., based in Stirling, Ont., north of Belleville, announced it plans to open a bio-refining facility this year.

Hemp is the common name for the cannabis plant, which has fibrous roots, stalks and stems useful for producing a variety of products and seeds that are edible. The flowers, buds and leaves of some strains are used to produce drugs such as marijuana and hashish because they contain a psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but industrial hemp is bred to produce very little THC.

The Stonehedge plant would produce Hemcrete, a limestone building material similar to concrete that is considered to be more environmentally friendly.

The company also expects to produce more than $17 million per year in renewable hemp fibre, wood-like chips, pellets, matting and seed products.

Stonehedge Bio-Resources says it plans to start with five employees this year and employ up to 27 people by 2011.

The company says the global renewable and bioproducts industry is expected to exceed $125 billion in revenues by 2010.


Canada: Hemp Alliance Gets Funding For Review

Ontario Farmer

The Ontario Hemp Alliance is working to put together a review of Health Canada's regulations in three months.

The organization received $215,000 from the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food program ( ACAAF ) to carry out a complete regulatory review. It must be submitted by March 31, 2009.

Over the last three or four years there has been a steady increase in the processing of hemp, and the development of many small businesses engaged in developing new products and marketing of these products. Work is well underway to evaluate hemp as a potential source of producing pulp and fiber out west and many Canadian hemp food companies are developing a wide range of products from snack foods, to basics like flour and edible oil. There are shampoos and conditioners, moisturizers, commercial paints, beer and aromatherapy and cosmetic products. In addition, industry experts estimate that 1/3 of Canadian hemp seed production is certified organic, a sector growing 20 per cent annually.

Also encouraging is the collaboration between the National Research Council Canada ( NRC ) and Hemptown Clothing Inc., a manufacturer of hemp clothing. This partnership is meant to develop enzyme technology to process hemp to make fabric. The technology promises dramatically improved fiber quality ( softer, whiter fabric ) using environmentally friendly methods.

Canada: Demand for hemp soaring, firm moves to bigger plant

By Murray McNeill, Winnipeg Free Press

These are high times for hemp.

Not only is demand for hemp products skyrocketing -- Canadian hemp seed exports increased by 300 per cent and hemp oil exports by 85 per cent from 2006 to 2007 -- but one of the country's oldest and largest hemp food producers, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils, is moving into a new state-of-the-art processing plant this week that will boost its production capacity by 500 per cent.

And Wednesday, the federal and provincial governments added icing to the cake with the unveiling of a new national strategy for developing the hemp industry in Canada.

"In the last 10 years, the Canadian hemp industry has grown from an emerging niche market to a point where we are now being recognized as a global leader in hemp production," said Mike Fata, chairman of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) and president and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp.

"With the province's support, this hemp strategy has given us a road map to new opportunities and continued growth of the hemp industry in Canada."

Fata said the creation of a national strategy gives the industry instant credibility.

"It proves the industry is here and it's not just a fad."

The strategy was announced on the second day of the CHTA's two-day annual meeting and technology conference in Winnipeg.

More than 100 delegates from Canada, the United States, Europe and Korea attended the event, designed to bring industry players up to date on the latest developments within the global hemp industry.

Canada: Research Shows That Hemp Seed Can Help Fight Heart Disease

By Manitoba Harvest

Hemp seed is an ancient superfood that has a rich history of culinary enjoyment, as well as use by cultures as a traditional medicine to enhance health and well-being. Over the past few years, this nutritious and eco-friendly seed has been gaining more attention from nutrition and health experts and deservedly so. Scientists in Canada, a country where hemp agriculture is thriving and experiencing a rebirth, recently performed research to study hemp seed's role in maintaining heart health. The title of the abstract from their research sums things up well, Cholesterol Induced Stimulation of Platelet Aggregation is Prevented by a Hempseed-Enriched Diet.

In somewhat technical terms, the authors of the scientific paper establish that Hypercholesterolemia indirectly increases the risk for myocardial infarction by enhancing the ability of platelets to aggregate. Their research, published in the April 2008 edition of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology*, investigated whether hempseed, a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), inhibits platelet aggregation under normal and hypercholesterolemic conditions. The results of this study demonstrate that when hempseed is added to a cholesterol-enriched diet, cholesterol-induced platelet aggregation returns to control levels, noted the authors.

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