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Hemp plant takes giant step with three new foreign investors

STIRLING – Central Ontario’s hemp decortication facility took a huge step closer to reality recently when three foreign investors pledged more than  $2-million to join a company here in processing the crop.

President and CEO John Baker of Stonehedge Bio-Resources, Inc., said a processing facility will be built between Cobourg and Trenton which will process hemp into building and insulation materials.

U.K. investors have been processing hemp stalk or hurd into a building material. When blended with a lime-based binder, a bio-based composite building material is created which “locks up around 110kg of CO2 per m_ of wall. It provides one of the best value materials for low impact, sustainable and commercially viable construction.”

Joining an anonymous U.K. investor in anteing up funds are Lime Technology Ltd, a pioneer in the development of hemcrete, and American Lime Technology

A huge opportunity exists in Canadian for hemp production, Baker says, because it is illegal in the U.S.

“Americans don’t distinguish between hemp and marijuana like we do,” Baker said during an interview with AgriNews.

“We’ve got our foot in the door. We have to move at lightning speed.”

“The Quinte-Northumberland region of Eastern Ontario provides an ideal soil/climate resource on which to develop the hemp biomass sector. The region’s proximity to … the Ontario/Quebec market corridor and to the eastern seaboard of the U.S.A., provides an additional competitive advantage,” Baker said.

Stonehedge Bio-Resources will also process a pelleted fuel from the end by-product of its decortication process.

“This investment will lead to the creation of up to 27 new jobs in the region and create new opportunities for up to 200 farmers. These bio-based products signify the future of sustainable development and clean green technology by replacing products that cause serious environmental damage with innovative carbon negative alternatives,” added Baker.

Baker has almost haunted central and Eastern Ontario for the past decade searching for, experimenting with and breeding feral hemp plots. Of the 25 strains he started with, he said 10 were retained, and of those, four are dominant in his processes.

Growing hemp in Ontario was legalized in 1998. Baker is looking for hemp with a high percentage of a woody core “compared to anything else on the market.”

Stonehedge Bio-Resources Inc. is aimed at the carbon negative, sustainable, green building market.

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