Cannabis-infused Myrcene Hemp Gin

Autumn is almost upon us, and Australians will soon bid farewell to the longer days and balmy weather for another year. As we move away from the fruity flavours of summer, The Cannabis Company’s Myrcene Hemp Gin is the perfect, feel-good spirit to warm us up in the cooler months.
Read more

Socati debuts flavourless water soluble CBG-rich cannabinoid ingredients

Socati’s newest water soluble ingredients bring advanced microencapsulation technology from the food and beverage world into the hemp-derived ingredients market, delivering flavor and texture profiles unmatched by current offerings.

Socati’s new water soluble ingredients are truly flavorless. Their unique properties enable manufacturers to incorporate hemp-derived cannabinoids into their products without the need for emulsifiers, surfactants, additional flavoring agents or other complicated treatments.

This advanced microencapsulation technology helps make unique and customizable formulations possible. Capabilities include the integration of natural antioxidants and antimicrobials to extend shelf life, flavor solutions to create comprehensive ingredients for product development, and other functional ingredients such as vitamins. For example, Socati is currently formulating a custom solution for a client containing vitamin B12, specific levels of CBG and CBD, and a distinct fruit flavor for functionality testing.

READ MORE: Australia’s first hemp water launches new flavour

“Incorporating cannabinoids into beverages, food and topicals without altering flavor or texture of finished products has been a significant problem faced by the industry which, up to now, hasn’t had a viable, commercial solution.” said Socati CEO Josh Epstein. “Through leveraging some of the most advanced technologies in the food and beverage industry, our new ingredient offers the precision that manufacturers require to satisfy the rapidly growing consumer demand for products containing CBD and other cannabinoids.”

Like all of Socati’s ingredients, this water soluble product uses proprietary chromatographic processes to ensure all of the CBD and other desirable compounds found in hemp remain in the finished product, while THC levels are far below most commercial labs’ ability to detect.

These ingredients take advantage of Socati’s fully customisable product technology, which offers manufacturers the ability to purchase all-natural ingredients with specific cannabinoid profiles to meet increasing consumer demand for personalized products.


Australia’s first hemp water launches new flavour

Following phenomenal sales, and a rapid national expansion well beyond expectation, Australia’s first hemp water +hemp is releasing a new flavour this month.

Natalie Moubarak, the 32-year-old founder of +hemp, has grown the brand – selling more than 100,000 units of the scientifically formulated beverage in just 11 months, with 427 Australian stockists. +hemp has also expanded into the lucrative UK and US markets since late last year.

+hemp is Australia’s first-to-market hemp-based water produced from high-quality Australian-grown hemp and formulated using only natural ingredients. It was launched in late 2018, just 10 months after hemp was legalised as a food in Australia in November 2017, following a major review by Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant but contains negligible traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive and hallucinogenic chemical in cannabis.

“We’ve experienced strong growth and uptake of +hemp since we launched last September – with 46 retailers when we first launched to now being stocked in 427 retailers across Australia,” said Moubarak. “It’s been exciting to also see our product hit the shelves in the US and UK – being stocked in cafes, lifestyle and wellness stores.

“The huge success of our first +hemp water proved testament that there was interest and demand for a high-quality true hemp water, so it was only a matter of time that we released a new flavour. We’re thrilled to launch our coconut and raspberry flavour Restore this month and seeing the response we get from our customers.”

Moubarak’s journey was not an easy one, with extensive research and several rejections before her product soared.

Prior to the legalisation, Moubarak followed the journey of hemp-based foods and banked that hemp would soon be legalised as a food. She visited multiple hemp farms across Australia, spoke with hemp industry experts and food technologists on how to process hemp with water. She also sourced hemp oil that contained nil levels of THC. Along the way however, she faced multiple setbacks and rejections from beverage manufacturers, distributors, food technologists and social media – but Natalie persisted. Just days after the product was launched, +hemp was stocked in 46 retailers – including selected IGA supermarkets and BP petrol stations – and within the first few weeks 35,000 bottles had sold

Eleven months on, Moubarak has now sold more than 100,000 bottles of the original +hemp beverage, Hydrate, has expanded globally with retailers in New York, Beverly Hills, Bermuda and London, and has 427 stockists nationally, including all major IGA supermarkets, Dan Murphy’s online, South Australian supermarket chain Foodland and more convenient stores and cafes. She has even had to relocate to a bigger warehouse and office due to outgrowing the initial space.

This month, Moubarak has released Restore, a natural raspberry and coconut flavour that is expected to boost sales even further. Similar to Hydrate, which has natural nutty and citrus flavour, Restore will be rich in omega-3 and omega-6, and contain antioxidants, amino acids and Gamma Linolenic Acid. It will be formulated with all-natural ingredients including raspberry and coconut natural flavour, natural colour for the vibrant rose shade, organic Australian hemp seed oil and natural emulsifiers. The natural emulsifiers enable the hemp oil to mix with the reverse-osmosis filtered water in the drink.

Moubarak says: “Despite hemp being legalised, and containing no hallucinogenic properties, I’m still faced with issues such as merchant facilities not allowing payment transactions of hemp-food products. PayPal is the only payment system I’ve found that allows it. My Facebook Business ad account also continues to be disabled, so I’m unable to advertise on Facebook or Instagram.

“It’s been really frustrating and difficult to find ways to market +hemp as the framework for advertising and payments is not keeping pace with the entry of hemp products into the market. We need to see progress in this space, both in Australia and globally, which will allow hemp products to be sold easily and advertised.”

Natalie is forecast to sell a combined total of 166,000 units of Restore and Hydrate by the end of the year.

Naturally Good 2019 kicks off in a week

With a growing number of Australians paying more attention to what they put in and on their bodies, Euromonitor International has predicted the rise of the conscious consumer as one of the top 10 consumer trends for 2019. As consumers demonstrate that they are willing to pay a premium for natural, organic and healthy products, Naturally Good is fast becoming a critical event for brands, retailers and small business owners looking to take advantage of this trend.

Returning to ICC Sydney for its biggest year yet, on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd June visitors will discover all that is Naturally Good from more than 360 exhibitors across the beauty, personal care, health, home, living, food and beverage sectors.

Jon Perry, Group Event Director at Naturally Good says, “The natural way of living is fast becoming the new norm and the expo attracts a great calibre of both Australian and international exhibitors and speakers, which gets a lot of interest from visitors as they can learn from leading experts, discover emerging new and well established Australian and international products, build long-lasting connections and broaden their knowledge in all things natural, organic and healthy.

Exhibitors include leading brands such as Cloverfields, Manuka Doctor, Hemp OZ, Beauty Sensation, Bio Beauty, The Chia Co and Melrose Health to name a few. This year’s exhibition also includes a Start Up Zone, featuring the most innovative products from emerging brands that have launched within the past two years, including Nourish & Care, Zandi Organics, Ulu Hye and Gaia Tree.

This year’s timetable has been given an overhaul, with two theatres now open to all visitors at no extra cost. Trade visitors also have the opportunity to hear from global experts such as Natural Products Consulting principal, Bob Burke, who will share his wisdom on how to break into the competitive US market through the education program.

CEO and founder of Lük Beautifood, Cindy Lüken will also be taking visitors through the latest indie beauty trends, Nancy Georges, founder of Magnolia Solutions, will be offering her top tips to increase retail profits, and founder of GoodnessMe Box, Peta Shulman, will be exploring the modern shopper’s approach to food, drink and nutrition.

So don’t miss the Southern Hemisphere’s largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show featuring more than 360 exhibitors and 20 presentations from the leaders in all things naturally good. Join the growing way of life and register today to reserve your place.

Hemp Health & Innovation Expo headed back to Sydney

Australia’s largest cannabis event, the Hemp Health & Innovation (HHI) Expo & Symposium is heading back to Sydney on 12 and 13 May 2018.

Now in its third year, HHI Expo sees thousands of Sydneysiders descend upon Rosehill Gardens seeking information and awareness around all the crucial benefits the hemp and cannabis plants offer: hemp food, medicinal products, fabrics & textiles, clothing, beauty products, building materials, health products, gardening and hydroponic equipment and more.

Featuring a hemp crop, interactive activities for all ages, tonnes of exhibitors from around the globe and the 2018 Australian Cannabis & Hemp Symposium –  HHI is Sydney’s opportunity to taste, touch, feel and experience it all; in a safe, family friendly environment.

Used for both nutritional and industrial purposes for many years, Nov 2017 saw federal legalisation passed that allows for the human consumption (and sale) of hemp foods in Australia.

The commonly misconstrued plant is now readily available as the newest superfood on the market. As a result, HHI Expo 2018 will feature a wide range of new, exciting and delicious exhibitors – allowing attendees to sample and taste test the best hemp foods in the country, all in one place.

The Symposium

For many, information on medicinal cannabis in particular can be hard to come across. Alongside the expo, the 2018 Australian Cannabis & Hemp Symposium will bring to Sydney the world’s leading doctors, pharmacists, academics, research associates, authors and entrepreneurs for presentations, conversations and Q&A sessions around everything medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp.

Bod Australia to develop hemp Manuka honey product line

Bod Australia has entered an agreement with New Zealand-based Manuka Honey producer, Manuka Pharma, for the development, manufacture and supply of a hemp-based, high methylglyoxal (MGS) Manuka Honey product line.

Under the HOA, Manuka Pharma will source, develop and manufacture the product, while Bod has agreed to import the finished product into Australia for packaging under Bod’s brand and logo, or any other brand or logo chosen by the Company.

Bod Australia will leverage initial sales through its established relationships with pharmacy banner groups, and independents within Australia and also target health food and supplement stores. As part of the agreement, Bod will also leverage its strategic partnerships throughout key Asian markets, most notably in China through its key daigou relationships.

Expansion into additional key markets throughout both North America and Europe will also be pursued, and the Company looks forward to updating shareholders on these expansion plans in due course.

The initial finished product will provide consumers with a source of high quality protein and essential fatty acids from the addition of hemp seeds, as well as the added health benefits of a high-grade, high MGS Manuka Honey. These benefits are well documented and include a reduction in stomach acids and acid reflux, combatting staph infections, improving sleep quality and the prevention of tooth decay and gingivitis; it may help treat acne and eczema.

While the product significantly enhances the Company’s nutritional product portfolio, a range of product line extensions are also being considered. Through the HOA, Bod Australia and Manuka Pharma will explore the ongoing opportunities around cosmetic and supplement applications to market in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.



JV Company to capitalise on cannabis-derived beverage potential

Creso Pharma has formally launched its new joint venture company with LGC Capital and Baltic Beer Company to capitalise on the fast-growing cannabis and hemp-derived beverage markets.

The joint venture participants have already identified potential distribution partners around the world, including in Australia and New Zealand, and also plan to expand CLV’s portfolio into other alcoholic and non- alcoholic beverages in time.

The joint venture company – CLV Frontier Brands Pty Ltd (“CLV”) – intends to develop and globally commercialise a bespoke portfolio of cannabis and hemp-derived alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages containing various ingredients, seeds, extracts and terpenes from hemp and cannabis plants.

The launch of CLV follows the announcement in November 2017 of a binding letter of intent between the three parties and the formation of the joint venture company.  The parties have now executed a formal binding joint venture agreement that more specifically outlines the rights and obligations of the parties.

Under the terms of the joint venture, both Creso and LGC will initially contribute €150,000 in start-up capital to CLV and Baltic Beer Company will contribute the equivalent sum by way of services to the company.

It is proposed that CLV will immediately start developing an initial premium four-beer range containing unique cannabis terpene mixes as well as other innovative ingredients.

These unique terpenes will carry the flavor and aroma of cannabis and will provide a sensual cannabis experience but the beverages will not contain any THC or CBD or any other cannabinoids.

CLV is targeting to ship the first test batch of an initial four beer range containing cannabis-derived terpenes in April/May 2018, with commercial sales aimed to commence in the following calendar quarter.

CLV will establish a pilot state-of-the-art R&D brewery facility in Tallinn, Estonia which will be dedicated to work on innovative recipes and to develop proprietary know-how and IP which will be registered by the JV.


Hemp food taste testing event coming to Melbourne

With hemp food set to become officially legal for sale and consumption on November 12, Australia’s first hemp food taste testing event is coming to Melbourne.

The Hemp Health & Innovation Expo (HHI), which takes place on Dec 2 – 3, will feature exhibitors such as 13 Seeds Hemp Farm, Healthy Heard Hemp Seeds & Hemp Store to name a few.

The expo will feature an array of family activities including a pictorial walk through of the history of Cannabis in Australia, an educational workshop on hemp and how it is processed, plus a live hemp crop display, “On The Grow”.

Running alongside the expo, the Hemp and Cannabis Symposium will bring to Melbourne the world’s leading doctors, academics, research associates and entrepreneurs as well as celebrities, activists, patients and politicians for presentations, conversations and Q&A sessions around medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp.

Speakers include Andrew Kavasials (NSW Licensed Hemp Farmer, President of the Northern River Hemp Association & Founder of Vitahemp), Lyn Stephenson  (President of the Industrial Hemp Association of Victoria), and Dani Venn (Masterchef finalist and The Wholehearted Cook Blogger)

“All systems are a go as of Nov 12. Feburary/March next year we will see the first official fresh harvest of Australian hemp seed under the new laws. I hope Australia gets behind it, supports local farmers and the hemp seed because it has incredible health benefits,” said Kavasials.

Hemp seeds approved for use in food

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has approved the use of hemp seeds as food.

The decision means that manufacturers in both countries will be able to legally produce products containing low levels of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

“The standard will take effect six months after it has been gazetted and Ministers acknowledged that there is still a range of New Zealand and State and Territory legislation that currently prohibits the sale of low-THC hemp seeds as a food which will need to be amended. Ministers also supported the establishment of an Implementation and Monitoring working group,” reads a statement from the health ministers at the forum.

According to Hemp Foods Australia, the international market for hemp foods is currently around $1 billion annually. That organisation’s CEO Paul Benhaim said the demand for Australian hemp foods will quadruple in the next few years.

High times for Australia’s hemp-in-food sector

Following the recent approval of low-THC hemp seed products to be used as a food additive by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), hemp seeds may soon be coming to a food manufacturer near you. As Branko Miletic writes, now the product just needs the federal government’s blessing.

The Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association (TFGA) CEO Peter Skillern is definitely someone who could be counted as very much a supporter of hemp in food.

“We’ve been arguing this decision was necessary to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the hemp industry in Tasmania. It’s a giant step forward,” Skillern told The Advocate newspaper.

But it’s not just the Apple Isle where the hemp-in-food movement is gaining support, One of Australia’s most passionate hemp- in-food advocates, Hemp Foods Australia (HFA), has calculated the international market for hemp foods to be currently worth around US$ 1 billion ($1.3 billion) annually.

Speaking on the potential for hemp in the domestic food market, HFA CEO Paul Benhaim said the demand for Australian hemp-based foods will “quadruple in the next few years.”

“This is another positive step in the years long work and investment in achieving legislation for Omega-3 rich hemp as a food in Australia,” he said.

More approval needed

The decision by FSANZ was another step toward encouraging federal ministers to approve of the plant for human consumption – a decision that is due to go before the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation on April 28, when the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting is scheduled to take place.

However, not everyone is sure about hemp being approved for food use. NSW Greens upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham has said previous resistance to the legalisation of hemp-derived foods had come from health and police ministers in Victoria and New South Wales who have twice raised concerns about hemp’s interaction with road-side drug testing.

“They’ve said there’s a health risk, they’ve also said it could give false positives in term of mobile drug testing.”

“There’s absolutely no evidence for that anywhere in the world,” Buckingham said.

“All over the world people are rushing into this industry, and Australia is missing out because our politicians are stuck in the 20th century,” he told the ABC.

Benhaim said he and the HFA were confident that the ministers will grant legislation on April 28, which will see hemp foods become legal to purchase from November 2017.

“[This decision] will also contribute significantly toward more sustainable farming in Australia, with the added bonus of creating considerable job opportunities for Australia’s farming industry,” he said.

“Hemp Foods Australia is very excited about seeing the versatility of hemp seeds, hemp oil and hemp protein being used throughout the food and beverage industry.”

The community attitude towards hemp has also changed markedly over time, with the community opinion now declared as being “extremely positive” according to Benhaim.

“This [attitude] has changed significantly since I first became involved in the industry in the early 1990’s.”

“People used to think that hemp may contain drug-like effects. Of course that is not true. You could smoke a field of hemp and all you would do is get a headache – FSANZ has proven this multiple times, and the public also understands this is a healthy superfood.”

Hemp as a superfood

According to Pure Healing Foods, hemp seeds these days are being classified as a “superfood”, one that has been shown to provide a range of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing inflammation along with a range of weight loss benefits.

From a chemical point of view, hemp seeds are packed with an array of useful fats, proteins, vitamins and trace elements including Omega 3 and Omega 6, Gamma Linolenic

Acid (GLA), amino acids, carotene, phospholipids, potassium sulfur, calcium, copper and Vitamins B1, B2, B6, D, E and chlorophyll.

According to a Rutgers University study, while its fatty acid composition is most often noted, with an oil content ranging from 25-35 per cent, whole hemp seed is additionally comprised of approximately 20-25 per cent protein, 20-30 per cent carbohydrates, and 10-15 per cent fibre, along with an array of trace minerals.

With a complete source of all essential amino and fatty acids, hemp seed oil is a complete nutritional source noted the Rutgers study.

In light of this nutritional data, in the US, while not yet approved for human consumption, hemp seeds are being touted as an additive for stock feed, with Colorado the latest state to draft legislation to approve the seeds for livestock feeding.

Colorado livestock could be eating hemp early next year, thanks to a bill which directs the Colorado Department of Agriculture to study the use of hemp in animal feed.

On a federal level, the US government started allowing farmers to grow hemp under limited circumstances back in 2014.

The United States Food and Drug Authority (USFDA) still classifies hemp the same way as the whole Cannabis sativa plant – even if it has a concentration of no more than 0.3 per cent Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THC, the intoxicating substance found in marijuana. This means its passage through the various US state and federal legislatures could still be fraught with a range of hurdles.

But it’s the addition to food for human consumption that excites organisations like the HFA.

“As well as the excellent nutritional properties, hemp has a great flavour and tastes nice on its own,” said Benhaim.

“I expect hemp to be part of every food category you can imagine – from drinks, to ready meals, to dried goods, frozen and more. Hemp truly is a tasty and versatile food that contains the nutritional benefits that ensure the consumer comes back for more each time.”

Export markets set to flower

 It’s not just domestic consumption where hemp as a food additive may find a market-places like North America, Japan, Korea and Europe are the main markets for such products, and HFA said that it has positioned itself to be at the forefront of the Australasian market having the only fully integrated production plan capable of thousands of tonnes of high quality products made in a HACCP environment.

The Australian government is also onboard and is currently helping upgrade the HFA factory at Bangalow in northern New South Wales with a $600,000 grant that is going towards the $1.18 million state-of-the-art processing facility.

However, Benhaim is at pains to stress that HFA will be taking small steps to start with.

“At the moment, we prefer to work at our core business, which is farming, processing and preparing raw materials (hemp seeds, oil, protein and flour) for others to take advantage of and to market themselves,” he said.

FSANZ approves hemp products as food

Food regulator, Food Standard Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has approved low-THC hemp seed products to be used as a food.

THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis and the consumption of the products therefore does not result in the psychological effects associated with high-THC cannabis.

However, as the ABC reports, the regulator’s approval does not mean that the sale of the products can now begin. First, state and territory governments must give their approval.

Supporters of the change are hopeful that approval will be at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in April.

The Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association (TFGA) CEO Peter Skillern is one such supporter.

“We’ve been arguing this decision was necessary to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the hemp industry in Tasmania. It’s a giant step forward,” Skillern told The Advocate.

According to Hemp Foods Australia, the international market for hemp foods is currently around $1 billion annually. That organisation’s CEO Paul Benhaim said the demand for Australian hemp foods will quadruple in the next few years.

“This is another positive step in the years long work and investment in achieving legalisation for omega-3 rich hemp as a food in Australia,” he said.

“It will also contribute significantly toward more sustainable farming in Australia, with the added bonus of creating considerable job opportunities for Australia’s farming industry.”

Tasmanian Government backs food approval for hemp

The Tasmanian Government is backing the push to approve hemp for use in food products sold in Australia and New Zealand.

As the ABC reports, the proposed law change is due to go before an Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in April, and the Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff is lobbying other governments (state and federal) to support the proposal.

“We’ve been working together since we came to government to change the views of those nationally when it comes to allowing hemp food products,” Rockliff told Industrial hemp growers.

The use of hemp in food is already legal in most countries, given that hemp is not the same thing as the drug marijuana and cannot induce a ‘high’ when consumed. This is due to the fact that it contains no or very low levels of THC, the drug component that causes such an effect.

According to Phil Warner from Ecofibre Industries, the banning of hemp stems from its association with marijuana.

He told the Advocate that 90 per cent of the cannabis species have “no drug potential” and added that “it was demonised in the 1961 Single Convention [a narcotics forum] when they didn’t even know what cannabinoids were.”


Hemp poised for possible food approval

Hemp foods may soon be on the Aussie kitchen table with regulators set to possibly approve the plant for human consumption in April 2017.

Legislation changes are due to go before the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation next year, when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meet. Industry leaders keenly awaiting the decision which will pave the way for Australians to reap the health, economic and environmental benefits of a healthy local hemp food industry.

Australia’s largest grower of hemp, Hemp Foods Australia, believes the decision would be significant for the economy, environment and the health of Australians.

The international market for hemp foods is currently estimated at $1 billion annually. If approved, demand for Australian hemp foods is expected to quadruple.

Hemp Foods Australia founder, Paul Benhaim, said Australian hemp farmers are excited about the prospective legalisation of the crop as a food and its separation from marijuana.

“This is a very positive step towards more sustainable farming in Australia – in addition to added job opportunities for Australia’s farming industry,” he said.

“Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has recommended that low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the pyscho-active ingredient in marijuana) hemp be approved as a food in Australia. We have to remember that hemp is not marijuana and contains no or very low levels of THC, the drug component of marijuana.”

Hemp is also one of the most versatile and eco-friendly substances on the planet and is gaining global popularity.

If approved, Australia could save 2 billion litres of water per year simply by replacing cotton farming with hemp. This simple change could remove over 10 million kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“In addition to this, as a food, hemp is a highly nutritious source of plant-based protein and can be used as food ingredients like flour, oil and protein powder” Benhaim said.

“Hemp is a plant-based, rich source of Omegas, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and is also free from soy and diary.

“Hemp seeds contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids than any other food and are the only food to contain Omega 3 and 6 in just the right amounts to meet our nutritional needs.

“Just one tablespoon of Hemp seeds contains over 7,000mg of essential fatty acids.”

In the right proportions, hemp has also been shown to help regulate blood clotting, body temperature, blood pressure, reproduction and immune function.