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A slow and steady increase in hemp food and beverages

Viewed 48 times3-11-2020 03:25 AM |Personal category:hemp| hemp foods, hemp

It will be two years after hemp was legalized as a food in Australia this November, but there is still a deep skepticism about its benefits and effects.

In 2016, I started monitoring the legislative path for hemp-based foods after a positive experience using hemp and moisturizer concoction to help with my psoriasis. After thorough analysis, I relied on my conviction that hemp would soon be legalized as food and came up with the great idea to create the first-of-a-kind hemp water in Australia, called + hemp, to make it more available for Australians to consume. + hemp is an all-natural hemp beverage made from high-quality, Australian-grown hemp seed oil that has been filtered into the water using a reverse osmosis process.

Initially, I was on an 18-month journey to grow the product, investing more than $260,000 of my funds to produce Australia's first hemp water. The company is performing well – now 11 months from the launch of + hemp – given that we're a small hemp business. Progress can be seen because we have sold more than 100,000 units to date and are stocked in more than 427 retailers in Australia and globally.

So why are people still unwilling to eat a perfectly legal and balanced food source?

Having interacted with numerous people on the hemp market, there is still a long way to educate Aussies about the benefits of hemp products, especially hemp foods.

While it hasn't had a significant effect on our sales, it would be nice if the stigma and misconceptions about hemp were no longer there, as people are still wary of trying the product. This is seen in the entire hemp industry – not just hemp food or beverages.

The most significant problems facing the sector are the confusion and lack of public knowledge that hemp varies significantly from its illicit counterpart. The main distinguishing factor between hemp and marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—a psychoactive ingredient. It is safe to sell and consume as long as the food product contains less than 0.5 percent of THC. + hemp water contains negligent THC traces, making it healthy for people of all ages to drink.

However, the law in Australia on hemp, in general, is still changing in contrast with foreign markets such as the United States and Canada, where regulatory changes have taken place to overturn the illegality of growing and using hemp. A variety of political campaigns, along with the large pharmaceutical firms, take an anti-hemp stand, which does not inspire consumer trust. After years of a total ban on hemp as a food source in Australia, it would take some time for the Australians to adjust to this fully.

The ingredient is a natural source of food.

Strict marketing policies on social media sites are also a hindrance to the growth and production of hemp products in Australia. Given the extent to which social media reaches its users, there is a potential for education in this way. Instead, + hemp has been doing mini promotions, promotional giveaways, and partaking in sampling opportunities to combat this hurdle.

If people see that advertising campaigns do not accommodate hemp products, while pharmaceutical brands and political parties frown upon them, Aussies would be much more hesitant to open up the prospect of integrating hemp products into their daily lives.

Given our current position, I assume it will take around another five years for help to pick up on the Australian market. Following the decision to overturn the consumption of low THC hemp, it is no surprise that Australian hemp production is estimated at $3 million by 2023—hemp growth. The goods are undeniable and are coming up slowly but steadily.

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