Aussie Hemp Seeds In The USA

Australian hemp seed
Image: BigStock

6 tons (around 5.44 tonnes) of Australian industrial hemp seeds have arrived on the USA’s shores. That’s a lot of seed.

The seed is to be used by farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee to cultivate 530 acres of industrial hemp crops.

Some of the farmers will be growing the hemp for grain and fibre applications, but most will be extracting cannabidiol (CBD); a prized non-intoxicating cannabinoid believed to be beneficial in treating and/or managing the symptoms of a number of conditions.

CDB oil is very valuable – a very pure extract can have a wholesale price north of AUD $84,000 a litre.

“It’s really exciting to see several years of planning, careful trials and research come to fruition,” said Brian Furnish, a farmer from Harrison County, Kentucky.

” We have big plans for the State of Kentucky and after last year’s harvest we are scaling up commercial production, which will ultimately benefit this State and its farmers.”

167 hemp farmers have gained approval to cultivate the crop in Kentucky this year, up from 95 last year.

The certified seeds were supplied by Australian company Ecofibre.

“By utilizing our certified seeds from Australia, we are able to provide safe products to our consumers by maintaining full chain of custody from seed to consumer,”  said United Life Science Director, John Ryan. United Life Science is the US subsidiary of EcoFibre.

Generally speaking, hemp seeds weigh 0.01 grams to 0.02 grams. Based on 0.02 grams, 5.44 tonnes equates to around  272,000,000 seeds.

The seed contains very little of the intoxicating cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol – so little, can will not create a “high” when consumed.

While it’s great to see Aussie export activity, many Australians are looking forward to the day that hemp seeds are widely available locally as a food product.

Australia is the last country in the world where all hemp seed food products are still illegal. However, progress is slowly being made in lifting the ban.

Hempseed can be sourced locally and purchased online, but it is usually accompanied by a disclaimer stating they are only meant for “external use”; i.e. for making lotions etc.

According to a few prices we checked, the retail price of industrial hemp seed is currently around $50 a kilogram (bulk pricing).

The seed is a genuine “superfood” and it’s thought hemp seed oil could play a role in reducing risk of heart disease and diabetes.