Leaders of the UK hemp industry will convene with the Hemp Party at Greenhaus today to discuss the potential of hemp and its benefits for agriculture, carbon reduction and other environmental and economic industries in the UK and around the world.
What is this event about?
It is a showcase for hemp with a line up of top industry speakers. Topics addressed will include hemp farming, hemp seeds, Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp fibres. Top companies including the British Hemp Association, Vitality Hemp, Quintessential Tips, Graces CBD London and many more will contribute.
The Hemp Party is sponsored by Amberstalk, the London-based hemp foods company, and co-organised by Greenhaus and the Central British Dispensary. Together they will showcase market-leading hemp products and a curated line-up of expert guest speakers.
The boom of the UK hemp industry
The evening will explore how an increase in hemp manufacturing can assist in job creation, provide new tax revenues for the economy, how it can contribute to the UK’s 2016 Paris Agreement CO2 emissions targets and how it can revitalise the agriculture industry by providing a valuable new cash crop for British farmers.
Speaking of hemp’s potential, CEO and co-founder of Amberstalk, Kirck Allen, said:
“From food to fashion, construction to agriculture and medicine, the list of benefits hemp could bring to the UK across multiple industrial sectors is exponential. “We want to ensure that the UK is not at the mercy of the US, China or other leading hemp producing economies by campaigning for and ensuring that the potential of the hemp industry is fully realised on home soil.”
Breaking through the policy barriers
Due to a lack of clear policy, subsidies, knowledge and manufacturing infrastructure, hemp has yet to break through as a sustainable alternative crop in the UK. Despite these uncertainties, Amberstalk believes that hemp is a commodity that can and must be grown and fully utilised in the UK, reversing the current practice which largely relies on imports.
Opportunities have arisen in the volatile political climate surrounding Brexit and in the prospects for the strengthening of trade relations with the US.
Current US President Donald Trump removed hemp from the Controlled Substance Act in the 2018 Farm Bill after former US President Barack Obama initially trialled production in the 2014 Farm Bill, meaning it is now recognised as an agricultural crop. US hemp farming acreage has increased by a factor of three since 2017.
Is there an opportunity for hemp in UK agriculture, post-Brexit?
The opportunity for the UK agriculture industry is massive, especially in light of the potential damage that Brexit could do to UK farmers. However, due to a lack of knowledge, policy and infrastructure, the UK is currently forced to import the majority of its bulk hemp oil.
If the UK were to follow countries like the US and China and allow for more hemp farming and manufacturing, it could assist in job creation, increase tax revenues, and even contribute towards meeting the Paris Agreement CO2 emissions targets.
It truly could be the new cash crop for the 21st Century, with profits going up and farmers could expect to see a more lucrative return for labour in comparison to traditional crop choices.
It’s important that the UK acts fast to capitalise on this opportunity, so they can fully realise the potential on home soil and reap the benefits. Instead of being at the mercy of other countries who are scaling up production on an unprecedented scale.
The Hemp party
The Hemp Party showcase will be an intimate event, covering CBD, hemp and cannabis, with a maximum capacity of 100 attendees that will take place at Greenhaus – London’s new co-retail space in Shoreditch that lets eco-conscious direct-to-consumer brands take advantage of their high street location as a showroom to complement online sales.
The Hemp Party is also intended to promote interest ahead of the Product Earth Expo 2019 at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Warwickshire from 23-25 August where, for the first time, the British Hemp Association and the Product Earth Expo are collaborating to introduce an event called The Hemp Zone – a space providing a wide array of activities, demos and exhibitions for businesses and the public to learn more about hemp.