The Recent Years

The Road to Legalization

Decades passed. The time was the early 1990s. Upon learning about hemp while traveling abroad, a Canadian university student was determined to challenge the status quo. That student, Manitoba Harvest Co-Founder Martin, aligned with academics, farmers, and local government to advocate for the re-legalization of industrial hemp. Included in this advocacy group were fellow Manitoba Harvest Co-Founders Alex and current CEO Mike Fata.

Using a United Nations treaty stating low THC varieties of industrial hemp are legal, the advocacy group successfully secured a government grant to source hemp seed and undertake plant research trials. (Thanks to Manitoba’s Agriculture Minister at the time, Harry Enns, and our first ever farmer-partner, Art Potoroka who were both courageous catalysts for change). The hemp trials in Manitoba were a huge success and proved hemp crops have undetectable amounts (less than 0.003%) of THC (the chemical responsible for psychoactive effects).

After years of organized advocacy work, industrial hemp was legalized in Canada in 1998 and an industry was born! Right before the re-legalization of industrial hemp, a symposium was organized to showcase the hemp industry’s potential. At this symposium, Manitoba Harvest Co-Founders met another local hempreneur, Shaun Crew, founder and President of Hemp Oil Canada. Coincidentally, 1998 marks the year Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and Hemp Oil Canada were both founded.


Fun Fact!

So confident that industrial hemp would return, Shaun Crew registered the company name Hemp Oil Canada Inc. a month before hemp was officially legalized.
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