Big Lakes supports regional hemp project

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is showing support for a new hemp processing plant in Donnelly in the neighbouring Smoky River region to the west.
At its regular meeting April 13, council approved a letter of support for Smoky Hemp Decortication Ltd. to present Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Nate Horner at a meeting April 21.
“Big Lakes County is enthused that Smoky Hemp Decortication is building a hemp decortication plant in Donnelly,” Reeve Robert Nygaard writes in the letter.
The business wants to show the municipal support to the minister, says Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
“It shows council’s support for a new hemp decortication plant in the region, creating jobs and it brings a new industry to the area,” Hawken says.
Council sees great economic value in the plant.
“Our understanding is that the decorticatiion plant will act as a hub,” Nygaard says.
“We strongly support the building of the plant and this industry in our region as it will provide much-needed employment, offer an alternative crop for our producers and slow the export of our young people from our region.
“Big Lakes County looks forward to work with Smoky Hemp Decortication to bring this project into fruition.”
Nygaard says the plant will have a widespread impact.
“The decortication process will provide the raw materials to encourage further processing by other companies and individuals,” Nygaard says.
“The availability of decorticated hemp will allow not only for the export of the hemp fibre and dust but also for other companies and individuals the opportunity to convert these into refined higher-value products.”
McLennan town council also supported the project at its meeting April 11.

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