Health Canada announced changes to hemp regulations last Monday, citing a Section 56, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act exemption.

The new rules include issuing licences without having to pre-identify planting sites, as well as choosing the planting sites at the time of planting. There is also no longer any minimum acreage requirement.

THC testing for hemp grain and fiber have been eliminated, but the testing requirement remains for the remainder of the crop remain.

Health Canada says the exemption is part of the government’s process for legalizing, regulating and restricting access to cannabis.

Health Canada also said the regulations better align “regulation of industrial hemp with the demonstrated low public health and safety risk of the crop.”

Criminal record checks, one of the major unnecessary restrictions hemp farmers cite, remain in force.

More information about the changes can be read in Health Canada’s notice to the industry.