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Industrial Hemp Project in Northeast New Brunswick

Marijuana Company of America (MCOA) and Global Hemp Group (GHG) have launched agricultural hemp cultivation in northeast New Brunswick. It marks the return of industrial hemp to the region where it was tried 20 years ago but failed to take off due to lack of market opportunities.  These trials are part of the first of three phases in implementing the Company’s Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone (HAIZ). The project focuses on the development of an industrial cluster around the hemp crop, which will ensure a market for farmers, year-round manufacturing job opportunities for the region, and a model for the Company to attract and develop additional HAIZ projects in other regions as well as provide a consistent potential revenue stream for both the MCOA and GHG shareholders.

May 2018 Update

The Partners have hired Joan Parker-Duivenvoorden as fulltime project agrologist and field manager for the project. Ms. Parker-Duivenvoorden graduated from Guelph University in 1981 with a BSc (Agr) majoring in plant protection. She has over 15 years-experience with the Nova Scotia Dept of Agriculture and with the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association (“NBSCIA”). While working at the NBSCA, she has developed strong ties in the farming community that will prove to be advantageous as the project expands from the initial group of four farmers to more than fifty farmers as envisioned in coming years. In addition to being responsible for the project locally, she will provide advisory services to participating farmers, will conduct on-farm research projects to properly monitor the behaviourof various hemp varieties in different environments of the region. She will also develop training materials to assist farmers who will join the project in subsequent years. One of the long-term research projects headed by Ms. Parker-Duivenvoorden will be to develop a profitable crop rotation for organic hemp, opening the way for organic CBD.

Contracts have now been signed with the initial group of four farmers, who began seeding this season’s 125-acre industrial hemp crop last week. The farmers participating in the project in 2018 are located throughout the northeastern region of New Brunswick, Canada, making for a good cross section of results for research conducted on the behavior of the crop across that region. The distribution of farms will maximize the demonstration effect and will facilitate the recruitment of additional farmers in the following years. This carefully selected group of farmers will actively participate in addressing the introduction of this new crop across different regions.

A 4,000 sq. ft. facility has now been secured in Bathurst, New Brunswick for the project. The building will be used for biomass storage and to install drying equipment that will used to process the fresh material.  Dried material will be stored at the facility while awaiting further processing by third party processors. Once proper licenses have been acquired for importing and manufacturing finished CBD products, the site may also serve as a distribution center for the hempSMARTTM and Benihemp line of products.

THREE PHASE PROJECT: This first phase of the project is the field trials of a number of hemp varieties, and a survey of farming conditions in the area.

Data will be collected on yields of the grain, straw, flowers & leaves, and CBD content of the hemp. In addition, farmer commitment to hemp cultivation, and possible rotations in which hemp cultivation would fit profitably will all be critical in appraising the project using information relevant to growing conditions in the Acadian Peninsula.

The second phase of the project in 2018 will expand cultivation beyond trials to cover more than 100 acres and include a larger number of varieties. Pilot industrial activities will also be included in this phase.

The third phase of the project – Starting with the 2019 growing season, the project will embark on its final phase on the way to full agricultural and industrial deployment. Over the next three years, the area under hemp cultivation is expected to reach 9,000 acres and industrial facilities to process seed, straw, and flowers & leaves will be fully operational. The New Brunswick HAIZ requires a total investment of $64.0 million over five years, with the majority of this investment coming in years four and five. The project will create hundreds of direct new jobs in both agriculture and manufacturing.

FOCUS: The project has three principal thrusts: hemp farming, primary processing of the crop, and secondary processing into finished products.

The project has three principal thrusts: hemp farming, primary processing of the crop, and secondary processing into finished products.

More than one hundred farmers are expected to participate in the project by year five. The introduction of hemp into the farming system will take into consideration other farming activities of the region, so that complementarities will be fully exploited. This new, low carbon footprint plant has the potential of becoming a major regional crop similar to potatoes in the northwest of the province.

Primary processing will include a decortication plant to separate fiber and hurd, a seed processing plant to extract oil and protein powder, and, when Canadian legislation allows, a facility to process flowers and leaves to extract cannabidiol (CBD) and terpenes. Markets for seed and CBD are already in full development. Marketing agreements for these products are under negotiations. The real sources of employment and environmental benefits however, are found in secondary processing, and the Company has established links with manufacturers, who will process these primary products locally into consumer products. Fiber will be cottonized to enter the textile market; hurd will be processed into hemp-lime bricks for the construction industry; and oil and seed cake will be enriched with CBD and terpenes, to produce healthy human and animal foods. The entire hemp plant will be transformed into an array of environmentally friendly products.

The project is set in an incremental five-year framework, in which farmers will be helped and guided as they adapt to the new crop and explore a new farming system model. A multi-dimensional research program will be implemented to support farming activities, to improve processing methods, to develop new products, and to monitor the use and impact of products from the HAIZ. Contacts with research organizations of the region have already been established and agreements are under negotiations.

LOCATION AND ACCOMPANYING SURVEYS - The trials take place in two areas east and west of Bathurst New Brunswick as can be seen on the map below. A third area around Miramichi is being considered for future greenhouse operations.

The trials take place in two areas east and west of Bathurst New Brunswick as can be seen on the map below.  A third area around Miramichi is being considered for future greenhouse operations.

The area between these three sites covers more than 50,000 acres farmed by 150 farmers. Barley, alfalfa, and hay are by far the principal crops grown in the area with soybean and corn coming second. Finding a place for hemp in the prevailing rotational patterns will be prime concern of the trials and accompanying investigations.

Beginning mid-August, Dr. Perrault, a Development Economist and Director of GHG will be present in the region for one month and will conduct surveys of prospective farmers to enlist their support for the coming year, and to discuss the terms of their collaboration.

TRIAL UPDATES - See updates and pictures of the ongoing hemp trails in New Brunswick

See updates and pictures of the ongoing hemp trails in New Brunswick >> See Now