Interview by Thomas Ivory, Jr
A woman who has spent over the past decade and a half already emerged in the international Industrial Hemp industry, Anndrea Hermann is more than a Industrial Hemp consultant. Her on-line social medias state, “cannabis is part of what Anndrea calls her final vocabulary.” She eats, wears, and builds with Industrial Hemp.
Missouri born and 2002 Missouri Southern State University graduate with a BGS in Ecolonomics focusing on Industrial Hemp, Hermann then earned a permanent Canadian residency in 2004 under the Unique Skilled Worker Program as an Industrial Hemp Technician. While at the University of Manitoba, she finished her Masters of Science in hemp fiber agronomy in 2008 and has since written articles, book chapters, and reviews about Industrial Hemp. E-Campus Instructor at Oregon State University, President of Hemp Technologies (a building material supplier of Industrial Hemp), Hermann is also owner of The Ridge International Cannabis Consulting and is the President of the Hemp Industries Association (non-profit)
Industrial Hemp fiber and seed agronomy, field and crop THC testing, regulating certifications and licenses, Industrial Hemp building material applications, and others are a few projects Hermann is an expert. She was kind enough to answer a few e-mailed questions.
1.) Canada has re-introduced Industrial Hemp back into their agriculture over a decade ago. How did Canada have this foresight? And how has it benefited them?
In the 1980s and 1990s, there was increased interest in the cultivation of industrial hemp as a potential source of new jobs in the agricultural and industrial sectors. As well, there was an increased need to develop alternative sources of fibre. Research conducted between 1994 and 1998 showed it could be successfully grown in Canada as a separate entity from cannabis (marijuana). With the demand and encouraging research findings, Health Canada chose to give the agricultural and industrial sectors the opportunity to grow and exploit industrial hemp in a controlled fashion. Laws were amended to allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp.
Canada has become an international leader in supplying hemp foods to the world. Hemp has been a welcomed crop in rotation increasing on farm diversity.
2.) Now that American farmers are becoming more interested in Industrial Hemp, what can they learn from Canada?
They can learn the importance of pedigree seed systems and how provincial and federal government can play a key role in the success of a new industry.
3.) In what ways does the growing environments for Industrial Hemp in Canada resemble and/or differentiate from the growing environments in the United States?
The US will have a period of cultivar discovery that will be key to the success of cultivation in the USA.
4.) Can certified seeds from Canada grow the same in the United States?
This will depend on the location and is why variety trials are important.
5.) What type of characteristics does the Industrial Hemp farmer look for in his crop?
Good emergence, even stand and even maturity
6.) How do you test for THC? May you please explain the process and tools you use?
THC is tested by authorized third party accredited labs in which they use GC-MS or HPLC depending on the material they are testing.
Under the Canadian regulations we not only required to test the field sample (when not exempt) but we have to also THC the derivatives. Thus all Hemp Seed Oil, Protein Powder, Hulled Hemp and other food grade product have to test to be 10ppm THC or less to become a “free for sale” product.
7.) What do you believe is the most practical way Industrial Hemp can be used as a building material? And what is the most unique use?
Hemp bast fibres make an excellent “batt” insulation whereas the hurd when mixed with lime binders and water creates a SUPER “non-toxic” insulation for the house.
8.) When would you say Industrial Hemp will be legal world-wide?
We are well on our way! Hemp is on the Global radar however many countries still need to overcome the stigma of marijuana and to define hemp. Most countries recognized hemp products.