Field Trip: EIHA Hemp Conference

  Shale TInkler     2018-06-27   View all blog articles

The 15th International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) was recently held in Cologne, Germany, and Tony Budden was again invited to present on updates from Africa.

27 – 06 – 18

This was their biggest conference yet with more than 340 participants representing over 40 countries in attendance.

For the first time a “Hemp Product of the Year- Innovation Award” was given and one of the prizes went to Van.Eko for their awesome hemp bi- composite bodied electric scooter.

The updates were that the markets in Europe, North America and just about everywhere else were growing at a rapid rate, and the diversity of products made from hemp continued to grow.

Unfortunately although Tony had updates from Malawi, Congo, Lesotho and even some progress from Zim, there was very little to report on from the legislation change perspective from South Africa, besides for the recent banning of CBD supplement products at a time when the CBD market is exploding in the UK, Europe, North America and even Japan. Compounded with the recent WHO review of CBD that stated they did not believe CBD needed to be scheduled at all due to its low potential for abuse, this news was received with disbelief at the conference by the other experts from around the world.

Tony’s presentation did include some good news of the growth of the market in South Africa and the new products available from hemp surfboards to hemp Gin, and the report of the amazing benefits being received from hemp nutrition at the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen in Khayelitsha.

Invegrow’s progress in Malawi was also reported on and the successes of the trials and move towards a regulated industry there. The news of Tanya Clarke’s pregnancy and incoming hemp baby was also well received and everyone sent well wishes.

The conference itself was a resounding success, but reiterated how far behind South Africa is falling as we lose investment and intellectual property to surrounding nations, as well as many young people who want to work in the industry heading to Europe or Canada to put there energies in there where hemp is thriving.

We hope that this situation will change soon, and appreciate your continued support to help show demand for hemp in South African hemp products.