These are among the first hemp CBD cultivars on the LOAC that are early flowering and early maturing for outdoor cultivation and harvesting within the shorter Canadian growing season, the company noted.
The approved cultivars include the company's original "CW1AS1" U.S. patented genetics, clearing the way for Charlotte's Web to cultivate its CBD wellness products in Canada in 2021. Currently, Charlotte's Web products are not easily available in Canada because laws do not allow for bulk importing of U.S-grown hemp CBD or related products into Canada.
"Today, Charlotte's Web is the leading hemp wellness company in the U.S. with the most recognized and trusted hemp CBD extract," said Deanie Elsner, Charlotte's Web president and CEO. "We aspire to be the world's leading botanicals wellness company, entering countries with an asset light model where federal laws permit hemp extracts for health and wellness. Israel and Canada are included in the first steps of our international expansion."
In addition to the company's CW1AS1 cultivar used for its leading Original Formula and other full-spectrum hemp extract products, Charlotte's Web is bringing two early maturing hemp varieties to Canada—named "Duchess" and "Ambassador"—developed for cultivation in shorter northern climate growing seasons.
Charlotte's Web's approved cultivars are three of 15 added to the 2021 LOAC. "The majority of approved cultivars on the LOAC to date have been for industrial hemp grown to produce food, fiber, and animal feed. Now our approved cultivars are paving the way for full-spectrum hemp CBD demand in Canada and most importantly, will provide access to Charlotte's Web products in Canada," explained Jared Stanley, co-founder and chief cultivation officer of Charlotte's Web.
Hemp-Derived CBD in Canada
Despite Canada being one of the first countries to federally legalize the sale of cannabis, the hemp CBD wellness category is underdeveloped in Canada, with limited offerings of full-spectrum hemp extract products. Most CBD products in Canada are produced from cannabis with THC levels well above 0.3%. Charlotte's Web hemp cultivars are cultivated below 0.3% THC, resulting in full-spectrum extracts with wellness benefits, but without the intoxication from THC.
Currently, Health Canada treats hemp CBD under the same regulatory regime as cannabis THC. The Canadian hemp industry is lobbying the Canadian federal government to change the regulations for hemp CBD to a natural health supplement that could be added to food, drinks, cosmetics and other wellness products. Hemp CBD products could then be sold in all types of retailers across Canada. In September 2020 a report prepared by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) concluded that if Ottawa regulated CBD like regular health products it would open an annual market worth more than C$2 billion.
Sean Moloughney has been the Editor of Nutraceuticals World since 2012. He can be reached at SMoloughney@RodmanMedia.com.