Vancouver Hemp 2000 Report

In 2000, hemp food was still in its infancy. It later became 90% of Canadian hemp thanks in part to conferences like this.

Extracts of Vancouver Hemp 2000 conference report on Hemp Food [and my notes]:

Don Wirtshafter of the Ohio Hempery spoke on market development and selling hemp food products in the United States. “There is no get rich quick scheme with hemp…or any other industry,” he said. However, he championed dehulled seed as a “magic bullet”; being unsterilised and having no THC, it is a great fit with the natural foods marketplace. “That is where all the growth is right now”, he added. Wirtshafter also championed the need of a “killer ap”, a food product that would create new ground and reach new consumers. Could this be a really good energy bar? he speculated. [Yes, among other products. At the time, HempNut/Rella had a dozen hemp foods in distribution in the US and Canada, coast-to-coast, supermarket chains and natural food stores. Several thousand.]

Gero Leson, speaking on hemp food products and their opportunities and challenges, was the first featured speaker. Leson also commented that shelled hempseed— with its low THC content, and lack of a gritty shell— is emerging as one of the most promising products that can fit into this market. [It was pioneered in North America four years earlier by HempNut, years before the others.]

Joann Houghton from community food group Food First!, who made the provocative quote of the weekend: “As a basic human necessity, food is too important to be left to market forces.” [Yet, today you pay twice what you should for shelled hempseed and oil.]

Good saleable features of hemp foods include its exceptional protein and EFA content. “A first rate inventory helps too, ” says long time natural foods industry veteran, John Goodman. Goodman, now with Rella Good Cheese Company/HempNut Inc, points out that his company has 17 hemp-based items in their catalogue right now and plans for up to “at least 45” in the next few years. [Not only did HempNut have the widest and oldest distribution network, it had the most and the best products, with the best branding and marketing behind it. Hiring long-time industry Pros like Goodman was one of the reasons.]

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