Forget kale. The new trendy superfood could be hemp.
A global cannabis company has its eyes on Australia – and it says it wants to make its products friendly for the whole family.
Elixinol Global has been listed on Australia’s stock exchange for just one year, but it’s already seen revenue growth of around 121 per cent.
With big plans to expand, the company is setting up a cannabis farm at a secret location in northern NSW.
It’s betting that medical marijuana and hemp products will become more widely accepted here and that its hemp-based food products, including burgers, hemp oil, hemp flour and hemp seeds will become Australian staples.
The company’s CEO Paul Benham told Your Money Live that the idea of eating a marijuana-related product is still taboo in Australia, but that’s changing over time.
“People are recognising that [it] doesn’t have to get you high, it doesn’t need to be intoxicating,” he explained.
“Who wants to feed their child cannabis that gets them high? No one wants to do that. But who wants to put a healthy burger on the barbie – most people want to do that.”
While hemp comes from the same strain of plant as marijuana, it has a lower component of the psychoactive THC – which means that its psychoactive effects are eliminated.
“[Most of our products] are great for young people, old people, you can use heavy machinery for example…In fact, it’s healthy for you.”
Decades ago, Benham set up Europe’s first commercial hemp food business. Soon after he was headhunted to start a similar business in Australia.
But that took a little longer than Benham expected. Hemp was only legalised for sale in Australia in 2017, almost two decades after he moved here.
With medical cannabis now legalised in some parts of Australia, businesses in the sector have been quick to jump on board.
Benham said that’s done wonders for the industry’s image.
“The main reason that people get it now is because of the medical benefits. People are really finding that… they’re really getting benefits from pain, anxiety, sleep… its very exciting.”
Along with food, the company also sells health and beauty products, including medical marijuana and skin products.
Watch the video above for the full interview.