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Page 1: The origins of cannabis in Canada

The history of Canada is deeply intertwined with the story of cannabis. This most wonderful of plants has shaped our country in many important ways. From the earliest days of our nation's history, cannabis has been a central engine of our economy and a key to political success. The story of cannabis in Canada is one of controversy, conflict and the quest for power.

Canada's first cannabis crop was planted in 1606 by Louis Hebert, a successful Parisian botanist and apothecary who was a friend of explorer Samuel de Champlain. Hebert had emigrated to New France (now Nova Scotia) with his wife and children, bringing his extensive knowledge of herbs and medicines with him to the new world.

Cannabis was a crucial world commodity at the time. Cannabis seeds and flowers were used across Europe and Asia as food and medicine, but the primary use in Europe was to make the ropes and sails required by all navy boats and merchant ships.



• planted in 1606
Book: Cannabis: A History, by Martin Booth, p.57, Transworld Digital, 2011

• planted in 1606
Book: Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany, by Robert Clarke and Mark Merlin, p.129, University of California Press, 2013

• Louis Hebert
Article: Louis Hebert, by Ethel Bennett, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto, 1966

• crucial world commodity
Article: Feasibility of Industrial Hemp Production in the United Stated Pacific Northwest, by Daryl Ehrensing, p.5, Oregon State University, May 1998,

• crucial world commodity
Book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes, by Jack Herer, Chapter 2, Quick American Archives, 1998