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Hemp factory closer to reality

Posted on May 10, 2004

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada — Proponents of a hemp-processing factory in Dauphin met with provincial officials Monday to present an updated business plan and secure financial backing.

The Parkland BioFibre hemp factory would process locally grown hemp straw into fibre products.

“We’ve identified the markets for both the bast [long] fibre and the hurd [short fibres],” says spokesman Don Dewar.

“We have prospective customers. One is a major supplier of hurds into the bedding market in Europe. It’s a French company, but it has a Canadian office and is looking at supplying the hurds into North America. The other is a company that recycles cardboard.”

Dewar says the plant would create 20 jobs and bring in $4 million a year for local hemp farmers.

Dewar and the Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers co-op want the provincial and federal government to kick in about $6 million, which would be paid back. Dewar says the provincial government is on board, but the federal government has no yet committed; he hopes to meet with officials from both levels of government within the next couple of weeks.

Dewar says they will not solicit investment from the general public until they develop a market and get support from governments and banks.

Copyright © 2004, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.