Health Canada seeking submissions for new industrial hemp varieties

| Staff

Health Canada is putting out the call for new submissions to the list of approved hemp cultivars to be added to the List of Approved Cultivars (LOAC).

The deadline for submissions is November 20, 2020. Health Canada has usually updated the LOAC once a year, prior to the beginning of the growing season. Anyone seeking to grow hemp under the Cannabis Act must select from one of the approved cultivars. Hemp varietals are required to produce no more than 0.3% THC.

Applicants who want to submit an application to have a new cultivar added to the LOAC can send an email to [email protected] along with an evidence package demonstrating how the proposed variety meets the requirements outlined in the policy, including: 

  1. Evidence that the proposed cultivar is recognized as a true variety;
  2. Evidence that the variety consistently demonstrates no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (w/w) obtained from a minimum of three statistically sound and well-designed experimental trials in Canada;
  3. Evidence that the THC testing was carried out by a competent laboratory using validated methods;
  4. Evidence that the sampling and sample preparation protocol was done in a manner that provides an appropriate analytical specimen; and,
  5. Evidence that a Variety Certification Eligibility Application has been filed with the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association. 

Cultivation of industrial hemp varieties not listed on the LOAC for the purpose of plant breeding or inclusion on the LOAC is only permitted under an industrial hemp licence that authorizes cultivation for the purpose of propagation or plant breeding.

An application for an industrial hemp licence can be created and submitted online using the Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS). Applicants can refer to the Industrial Hemp Licensing Application Guide and the Industrial Hemp Licence Management Guide for more information on the application and licence management processes and requirements.