Hemp Industry Scrambling to Meet New Korean Demand

Regulatory hurdles seen hindering expansion of acres.

An explosion in demand for Canadian hemp out of South Korea is welcome news for the industry, but strict regulations may hamper just how much of that demand will be met this year.

“The doors have blown off the market in Korea for hemp,” said Kim Shukla, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance at Steinbach, Man.

Six months ago, South Korea was unknown as a market for Canadian hemp; now, “that market requirement is outstripping the requirements for the U.S.,” said Shukla. A promotion on a home shopping channel in South Korea led to sales of 40,000 pounds of hempseed in one hour, according to reports.

Before South Korea materialized with an appetite for Canadian hemp, Canada had been sitting on ample old-crop supplies and contracted acres were down “as this was going to be a clean-up year,” said Shukla.


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