BY VANCOUVER SUN
Hugh Lakeland, a mechanic and service station owner by trade looks over some of his 10 acres of commercial hemp. Lakeland was one of the first to obtain a license to cultivate hemp in B.C. from Health Canada. Paper, textiles and building materials come from the fibre and the seeds are produced for oil and food products.
Photograph by: Don MacKinnon, VANCOUVER SUN
• A term reserved for low tetrahydrocannabinol varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa. Of about 2,000 cannabis plants varieties known, about 90 per cent contain only low-grade THC and are most useful for their fibre, seeds and medicinal or psychoactive oils. Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known.
• Hemp is used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, construction (as with Hemcrete and insulation), body products, health food and bio-fuel. Hemp is legally grown in many countries across the world including Spain, China, Japan, Korea, France, North Africa and Ireland.
• Hemp is one of the faster growing biomasses known,producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year. About one tonne of bast fibre and 2–3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3–4 tonnes of good quality, dry retted straw.
• Hemp is environmentally friendly, requiring few pesticides and no herbicides. It has been called a carbon-negative raw material.