The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA)

The CHTA is a national organization that promotes Canadian hemp and hemp products globally. Established in 2003 the Alliance represents those involved in Canada’s hemp industry. Members include; farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, entrepreneurs and marketers.

The key functions of the Alliance are to disseminate information, promote the use of nutritional and industrial hemp and coordinate research.

CHTA is governed by a Board of Directors.


Register by April 13, 2018 to enjoy the early bird rate ($200 off for Members, $300 off for Non-Members) at this link:


Submission of abstracts are invited for scientific presentations about the biology, production, or utilization of industrial hemp in the following 4 categories:  Food & Health, Agronomy,  Materials: Fibre/Nanotechnology/Construction and Genomics/Breeding.  Selected presentations will be made either in plenary oral sessions, or in poster format.  
Abstracts should be sent using this Form: CALL FOR SPEAKER ABSTRACTS

[ Closing date for submission of speaker abstracts is May 15, 2018 ]

CHTA Member Manitoba Harvest Announces Regulatory Breakthrough in Hemp Food, with Self-Affirmed GRAS Status

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Manitoba Harvest, the global leader in hemp foods and its partner ingredient supplier, Hemp Oil Canada, announces the company's complete line of hemp seeds, oil and protein powder have received self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status, and has officially submitted to FDA for GRAS Notification.  To broaden consumer access to the nutritional benefits of the hemp seed, Manitoba Harvest is the only company to proactively gather and provide the scientific evidence necessary to affirm this sought-after American Food and Drug Administration designation recognizing a substance as safe among experts.

"We care so deeply about transforming consumer health and removing any doubt about the benefits of hemp foods, that we've invested hundreds of hours on the rigorous process to obtain GRAS notification from the FDA.  This is a milestone for the entire hemp food industry," says Bill Chiasson, CEO of Manitoba Harvest. "This leadership is what Manitoba Harvest was founded on 20 years ago, and builds on other industry leading actions we have taken, including being the only company in our industry to achieve the highest available accreditation standards from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and our commitment to the highest business principles as a certified B-Corporation," Chiasson continued.

The GRAS status removes regulatory barriers for food innovators, ingredient buyers, and mass-market food service buyers to use hemp foods in their product offerings. The use of hemp is expanding rapidly, and is now an in-demand ingredient for fast growing specialty food companies, but also large scale multinational CPG companies seeking to respond to consumer demand for more natural, and high nutrition, products.

Consumer demand for great-tasting, nutrient-dense foods like hemp is at an all-time high and Manitoba Harvest is committed to bringing hemp foods to the mainstream with expanded distribution of existing products as well as innovation.  Manitoba Harvest is giving Natural Products Expo West attendees a sneak peek at their NEW Hemp Yeah! Plant Protein Blend hitting shelves this summer. Hemp Yeah! is Certified Organic, kosher, vegan, stevia- and dairy-free, Non-GMO Project Verified and comes in three delicious varieties – Chocolate, Vanilla and Unsweetened. Each serving has 20 grams of protein and 1.4 grams of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids and is a rare source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA).

 "This is an exciting time for Manitoba Harvest – hemp seeds are a sleeping giant pushing into the mainstream and we're excited for this new 'it food' status," said Mike Fata, founder of Manitoba Harvest.  "This is what 20 years of experience and a stringent, steadfast belief in the power of hemp nutrition, quality and safety get you. We're excited to celebrate at Expo West this year!"

For more information on Manitoba Harvest, visit




Canadian Hemp: A Plant with Opportunity

Since 1998, Canada has grown industrial hemp for seed and for fibre. Canadian farmers and businesses are interested in the growing business of hemp as it realizes its potential to produce healthy food and environmentally friendly products, including paper, textiles, biocomposites and sustainable building materials.

Today Canada’s hemp sector is growing to provide secure supplies of hemp seed and fibre raw materials for domestic and international markets, as well as many processed and conditioned value–added products. Canada’s federal hemp regulations help to create quality, safety and accountability. A supportive scientific research community ensures that essential and necessary research continues ~ critical for any crop.

As a fast–growing annual, hemp is a renewable, reusable and recyclable resource. Changing environments in the world’s business community are helping to turn these green attributes into a valued quality.

Hemp: A Confusing, Historical, and Fascinating Plant

Ancient Origins

Production of hemp originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago. Hemp has a long history of being used as a food grain, and as a source of fibre, such as clothing, rope and netting.

Surprisingly to some, industrial hemp has deep roots in Canada. Hemp was one of the first crops that Champlain planted at Port Royal and later Québec.

Hemp in Canada

In 1606, French Botanist Louis Hebert planted the first hemp crop in North America in Port Royal, Acadia (present–day Nova Scotia). As early as 1801, the Lieutenant Governor of the province of Upper Canada, on behalf of the King of England, distributed hemp seed free to Canadian farmers.

Fibre hemp cultivation continued in many regions to the 20th century. Through many Old World cultures, hemp seed also has a long tradition of in Canada: immigrants from Eastern Europe brought hemp seeds with them when they settled the Prairies. These they planted and used for fresh oil, baking and traditional dishes. Similarly, Chinese Canadians have also long eaten hemp for medicinal and dietary reasons.

In Canada and in the US, hemp was outlawed 70–80 years ago, because it was confused with other kinds of Cannabis. Hemp is often called industrial hemp to distinguish it from other varieties of the plant. In Canada, all commercial hemp strains are grown under science–based regulations to maintain and ensure genetic identity.

After a half century’s absence from Canada’s fields and factories, hemp cultivation was again allowed in 1998, reawakening this country’s relationship to this interesting, fascinating, flexible plant.

Genetic Background

Botanically, hemp is classified as Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). Cannabis is a diverse plant species including more than 500 different varieties. Marijuana is a distant cousin. Under regulations hemp is defined as having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Because of this low level, hemp is unsuitable for drug and therapeutic purposes. THC is by the plant’s epidermal glands and is not produced in the hemp seed. All Industrial Hemp grown in Canada is GMO free.

Hemp is Federally Regulated

Canadian Hemp production was officially discontinued in 1938. In 1994, Health Canada began issuing hemp research licenses again. In March 1998, Health Canada allowed commercial production of the crop under a licensing system. Information on Hemp Regulations can be found at this link on Health Canada’s web site.

Commercial Growth

As with many new crops, there has been considerable fluctuation of production acreage. In 2003, over 2700 hectares (6700 acres) were grown across Canada , mostly concentrated on the Prairies. In 2015 over 84,000 acres licensed for cultivation. Hemp has been grown with success from coast–to–coast.

An Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada backgrounder is at this link.