Time to take a serious look at hemp

County of Wetaskiwin MLA says hemp could be crop of the future

Hello Drayton Valley- Devon. With summer upon us, this becomes a very busy time for many of us. I’ve been busy wrapping up business at the Legislature as the spring session has come to an end. Here are just a few of the Wildrose Opposition accomplishments over the past six months: the passing of Bill 202, Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act, which was introduced by fellow colleague Scott Cyr. Bill 206, Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Amendment Act sponsored by colleague Leela Aheer, second reading passed and the unanimous passing of Prasad Panda’s Bill 505 a motion to end Canada’s dependence on foreign dictator oil in favor of Alberta oil.

June brings the ending of a chapter in many student’s lives and I have had the privilege to attend many wonderful high school graduation ceremonies over the month. It warms my heart to see the many smiling faces of students achieving this first of many accomplishments. You have all worked very hard and should be very proud of yourselves. Congratulations and wishing you all great success in your future endeavors.

Recently I, together with a number of other delegates from within the constituency, attended the 14th international conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) in the Netherlands. With Hemp becoming the up and rising star for Alberta’s Agricultural sector, this conference presented a great opportunity to solidify strong contacts, to give our local hemp industry a much needed boost.

In January of this year The Regional Hemp Steering Committee was formed to help drive the industrial hemp value chain within our region. The committee executive consists of: mayor Stephen Lindop of Devon; Dan Madlung, CEO of Bio Composites Group Inc. from Drayton Valley; Bart Guyen, reeve County of Brazeau; Ralph van Assen, mayor of Warburg and 39/20 Alliance member and Barb McKenzie, Leduc-Nisku EDA. Alberta Agricultural specialist Lori-Jo Graham holds an advisory role on the committee as well.

Opportunity is knocking and now is the time to take advantage to not only further our agricultural industry but to provide an alternative resource to help boost Alberta’s economic growth. Since Canada is the only country in North America to have legalized industrial hemp, the demand for production from this natural environmentally friendly plant is on the rise. Approximately 32,000 acres are currently being utilized for cultivating industrial hemp under Health Canada’s authority with a portion of this number including producers within our own region. Presently industrial hemp is being grown for its seed, resulting in the remainder of the plant going to waste.

The Regional Hemp Steering Committee is focused on changing that. Market demand for products created from hemp fiber is growing rapidly within Canada and European countries. We are fortunate to have a facility right here in our backyard that has the ability to develop hemp fiber as well as other natural and synthetic fibers into environmentally friendly products, this being the Bio Composite Group Inc. Some examples of these potential uses are, car parts, biodegradable geotextiles, garden centre products, and biodegradable erosion control products.

The committee is working in conjunction with the local farmers and companies to help guide and facilitate appropriate contracts. Meetings with provincial government ministers are being arranged to discuss potential funding and to supply harvesting equipment for the farmers interested in cultivating industrial hemp. The committee hopes to see over the next three years more decortication plants erected within our region, creating additional jobs.

As we move into the summer please feel free to stop by the office if we can be of service to you.

Mark Smith is the Wildrose MLA for the Drayton Valley-Devon constituency, including much of the County of Wetaskiwin. He can be reached by phone 780-542-3355 toll free 1-800-542-7307, Drayton Valley – Devon constituency office Box 7272 Drayton Valley, AB, T7A 1S5, email draytonvalley.devon@assembly.ab.ca.

 

Just Posted

Cow feeding economics for the 2019-20 winter season

Keep in mind prrice and availability of feed

Boat and trailer purchase necessary, hears county council

Several departments needed a better boat says CAO

Hot Habanero jelly good for a get-together

Homemade applesauce recipe in this week’s kitchen

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Branco, Blatz-Morgan win City of Wetaskiwin by-election race Sept. 11

Branco records 761 votes, Blatz-Morgan 688: unofficial results

Fashion Fridays: 10 effortlessly stylish items for fall

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Red Deer Rebels drop preseason tilt to Tigers 5-3

Rebels fail to score after three first period goals

Canada Post has unfair advantage in distributing flyers: news group

Crown corporation argues newspapers, private operators deliver majority of flyers in Canada

Western Canadian Baseball team, stadium coming to Sylvan Lake

The Town announced they are finalizing an agreement to have a WCBL team in the future sports park

Sylvan Lake’s rainbow crosswalk defaced with homophobic message

The crosswalk was repainted Thursday morning to remove traces of the spray-painted words

Mounties lay secrets-law charges against one of their own

Cameron Ortis has been charged under the Security of Information Act

Canadian bobsledder Kaillie Humphries files lawsuit in bid to race for U.S.

Two-time world champion wants to expedite release from national team after filing harassment claims

Absent Trudeau is main target in leaders’ first election debate

Vying for third place, both NDP and Green leaders paint Liberals and Tories as establishment parties

Moose breaks into Fort St. John school district office

Conservation officers found the animal and determined it was fine, ‘all things considered’

Most Read