Budding Relationships – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA)
Growing recognition of cannabis as a value-added agriculture crop opens new opportunities for Licensed Producers to get support from agriculture ministries, departments and agencies.
For Ontario LPs, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is showing interest in our sector and has established an internal Cannabis and Hemp Working Group.
Three quick things we have learned from our discussions with OMAFRA.
- Register as an agricultural crop. Few LPs in Ontario have registered as agricultural producers with OMAFRA. LPs are encouraged to be on record in order to enhance the data around cannabis outputs and in order to establish cannabis as a crop worthy of supports and protection such as crop insurance.
- Technical Assistance for Growers. Fadi Al-Daoud, Ph.D. is a Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist with a portfolio that includes controlled environment agriculture such as vertical farms. Fadi works with the Ministry in SW ON. Fadi has technical expertise and support available to growers. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (519) 551 – 6703.
- Research Opportunity – Assessment of Odour Control. The University of Guelph and OMAFRA have launched a research initiative to help develop science-based policy to reduce the subjective odour concerns associated with cannabis productions. The research team is seeking the participation of LPs who have experienced a variety of odour control outcomes. Interested study participants should contact Jonah Nissenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we have only been approached by the OMAFRA thus far, we are broadening our outlooks to the rest of the nation in 2021, and we will be partnering with leading agricultural industry partners and their respective provincial authorities to further solidify our agricultural outreach.