ONE of the ASX's biggest cannabis players, Queensland Bauxite (ASX: QBL), has announced that it will release its flagship hemp foods brand to the market early next month.
The announcement was made on Monday that QBL's subsidiary Medical Cannabis Limited (MCL) will launch its VitaHemp product range on 3 December at Melbourne's Health and Innovation Expo.
Following its ASX release, QBL shares surged 15 per cent during early trade to hit a one-year high of $0.074.
VitaHemp team member Peter Edwards says the company's flagship product is a live and fertile Australian grown hemp seed that is rich in nutrients.
"To those who may not be aware, hemp seed foods are very much a family food," says Edwards.
"Personally I am very excited to be introducing a new food to so many families who are now discovering the value of hulled hemp seeds.
"Australian grown hemp seeds are not cultivated from the psychoactive component of cannabis. Cannabis known as hemp contains only trace amounts of THC and are safe to be consumed by the entire family."
The first announced product is VitaHemp's honey, which is still undergoing internal testing according to Andrew Kavasilas, founder of VitaHemp.
"We are currently working on some unique products that we intend to launch in the coming weeks," says Kavasilas.
"The first of these unique innovative products is our VitaHemp honey! We believe these products will be a massive hit especially in the large export markets in Asia and globally, and we look forward to working with HHC and Waltanna Hemp Group in further developing our unique product range."
As well as the VitaHemp honey, the initial product range to be manufactured in bulk consists of VitaHemp Hulled Hemp Seeds, Raw Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Protein Power, and Hemp Seed Flour blends.
As well as the food range, VitaHemp is launching a hemp based milk product too, which the company promotes as a replacement for dairy milk.
Thanks to new government regulations, QBL hase an advantage over international players wanting to grab a slice of the recently relaxed Australian laws regarding hemp products.
The new regulations say that hemp products made with imported raw and hulled must be 100 per cent sterilised. Considering VitaHemp's products are grown entirely in Australia the company has a significant advantage over players looking to import their seeds.
"VitaHemp process live-fertile Australian grown hemp seeds," says Edwards.
"Australian grown seedsappear to be the only hemp seed particularly hulled that can be confidently bought and consumed in Australia."
Chairperson of QBL, Pnina Feldman, says the legalisation of hemp products opens Australian innovation and quality food manufacturing to the world.
"The legalisation of hemp seed foods in Australia only a couple of weeks ago has opened Australia to a new local and global industry of enormous potential," says Feldman.
"We are proud to have been fortunate through our investment in MCL to be at the forefront of this hemp seed health revolution."
QBL is planning an independent ASX listing for its majority-owned cannabis producer, with QBL shareholders to be given preference to take up shares in the new IPO.
QBL acquired a 55 per cent stake in Australian unlisted company Medical Cannabis Limited (MCL) in March 2017, and since then there have been further announcements which have attracted investors into the stock.
The company announced that preference shares in the IPO will be given to shareholders in proportion to the number of shares being held in QBL and the length and time the shares have been held.
The company says a prospectus is being finalised but no date has been given for the MCL IPO.
Queensland Bauxite made the decision to acquire MCL after the decision last year by the Australian Government to approve cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.
Business News Australia
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.