Press Release: Hemp Fields: premium craft Australian hemp
Australia’s Hemp Fields offers stable, high quality, craft-grown hemp products on a commercial scale.
We are uniquely positioned in the global hemp industry as a pioneer in the Australian market. Founded in 2017, Hemp Fields has a single focus: growing premium Australian hemp in optimal conditions for optimal results.
Our extracts are made exclusively from our own cultivation, from high CBD genetics which we have imported into Australia and successfully cultivated (ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines on low THC levels). We grow the magic on our farm in the Byron Bay region of Northern New South Wales (NSW). In this unique ecosystem lies a plateau of rich volcanic origin that supports a range of subtropical fruit and vegetable crops. Several agricultural industries in the region, such as beef, bananas, dairying, vegetables and sugar cane, have been established for many years. We are adding the magic of hemp to the diverse agriculture.
We are a small team dedicated to growing the industry both within this country and across the world. We are passionate about unravelling cultural perceptions rooted in the demonisation of hemp. This has happened for many centuries and we want to play an active role in helping educate people.
We believe the market is ready for premium craft hemp products, with full chain of custody and traceability. We are only focusing on making products with highest standards of quality. We are working with best in class good manufacturing practice (GMP) certified manufacturing partners to produce products within the fields of human and animal wellness, sports; and cosmetics.
We are also able to offer private label capability to a select group of commercial partners.
The Byron Bay / North NSW hinterland
There is definite magic about the hinterland in Northern NSW and the Byron Bay area. The rolling hills are filled with rich volcanic soil, a fantastic climate, a vibrant agricultural community, amazing views, and magnetic energy that flows from the coast to the mountains inviting you to relax and take a breath.
Walgun, as Cape Byron is known by its traditional custodians, maintains spiritual, cultural and historical importance for the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) Aboriginal People. It was a place of plenty, this point of land the Aboriginal people called Walgun, which means The Shoulder. It gave views, sheltered and sandy beaches, seafood, wildlife, rainforest fruits, and always clean spring water. Aboriginal people have lived and visited the area for at least 22,000 years, for Walgun was also a place for many Dreamtime stories.
The traditional custodians of the land embraced the healing properties of nature. Just like they did we are harnessing the volcanic soil and growing plants that heal.
The provenance of grape-growing areas are well renowned within the wine industry. Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, Margret River – the same can now be said about growing hemp.
The Caledera of the Tweed Volcano – now extinct – and the associated landscape complex has several names in common use: the most notable are Mt Warning Volcano and Tweed Volcano.
Australian Tourism has declared it to be a Landscape of National Significance and dubbed it ‘Australia’s Green Cauldron’, under the National Landscape programme. It is one of the world’s great natural wonders. The soil in this region is rich because volcanic eruption deposits the necessary minerals, which are then weathered and broken down by rain. Once absorbed into the soil, they become a steady supply of nutrients for plant life.
First successful harvest
In November 2019, Hemp Fields announced the full operational functionality of its research and development (R&D) facility in Northern New South Wales, with the inaugural harvest of phytocannabinoid- and terpene-rich hemp from a proprietary low-THC cannabis variety developed by Hemp Fields.
What was at the beginning of March a side of a hill, with grazing cattle on the 80-acre property in the Byron Bay region, the three partners in Hemp Fields Pty Ltd – Arslan Magomedov, Arthur Wajs and Oscar Cullinan – transformed in the space of eight months to a 4,500m2 state of the art horticultural facility, with 2,000m2 under cover.
The harvested plants pose a significant milestone for the company; as the hemp cultivated inside the Hemp Fields facility is the first generation of a stable cultivar, developed with Hemp Fields’ US-based cultivation partners to be fully compliant with both New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’ (NSW DPI) limits – which state that the THC content of hemp must be less than 1% – and the EU’s much stricter limits of 0.2% THC, while retaining significant amounts of other cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN) in its profile.
Comments from Arthur Wajs, Managing Director of Hemp Fields
Hemp Fields Managing Director Arthur Wajs said: “We are very excited to have successfully completed our facility within a very tight timeframe; and we just completed our first crop cycle – one of four to six cycles within any 12-month period – when growing hemp as a protected crop. The ability to grow four to six crops annually inside a greenhouse allows us to make any necessary adjustments from one crop cycle to another, unlike when growing hemp outdoors, where one or – at maximum – two crops per year can be cultivated and the opportunity to adjust any methods to optimise the crop are much more limited and take significantly longer.
“Our company’s undertakings pose a significant opportunity for the Australian hemp industry – a lot of eyes are on us and we are working closely together with the Department of Primary Industries in terms of setting standards for compliance with the state hemp regulations. We are also undertaking joint research with the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University in the areas of cultivar optimisation, to breed specific profiled low-THC cannabis strains.”
The current regulations enshrined in the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967 are in the process of being relaxed, in particular in relation to cannabidiol (CBD), as per the recently released McMillan Review of the Act. The implementation of the recommendations of this review will open up not only the domestic market and also the international markets for Australian high quality products with high CBD content and low levels of THC, creating jobs in rural areas and representing a massive export opportunity for Australian hemp companies. Hemp Fields is developing these cultivars, as well as value add methods such as the pressing of seeds and hydrocarbon extractions to produce oil, to produce uniquely crafted Australian hemp products.
The global CBD market was valued at over AU$4.4bn in 2018, in 2019 this value has risen to over $10 billion and the market is estimated to continue this exponential growth. Australia simply needs to get practical and build a solid hemp industry which can compete on an international level.
Wajs continued: “Current regulations in Australia relating to hemp are confusing to many, restrictive to others and differ in each state. To top off the confusion, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand only allows products derived from hempseed to be sold for human consumption; industry groups are currently lobbying with submissions to allow hemp leaf for consumption. Relaxing the regulations to be in line with the rest of the globe will open up amazing product opportunities.”
Hemp Fields holds an export/import licence from the Office of Drug Control (ODC) and is licensed to cultivate, supply and manufacture hemp under its NSW DPI Hemp Licence. Hemp Fields is also undertaking research activities with the Western Sydney University.
The company imports viable low-THC cannabis (hemp) cultivars from around the globe under its import licence. The cultivars are then researched and developed to optimise their suitability for commercial cultivation under Australian conditions, with a focus on maximising the cannabinoid and terpene profiles, while maintaining low THC in order to ensure regulatory compliance.
Hemp Fields’ HQ is located on an 80-acre farm in the Byron Bay area, where the plants are cultivated in a state-of-the-art nursery-greenhouse facility, as well as outdoors in the best organic, native soil.
Under its ODC export licence Hemp Fields is permitted to export low-THC hemp, where such an export is considered an export of a controlled substance, requiring an ODC export licence: this includes viable hemp seeds and extracts.
Hemp Fields is producing a range of high quality low-THC Cannabis strains with varying cannabinoid and terpene profiles to suit a range of applications, with all of our products manufactured under GAP (good agricultural practice) standards.
Hemp Fields undertakes practical and commercial R&D and all production is cultivated at a commercial scale for seed production, as well as phytocannabinoid and terpene production via hydrocarbon extraction.
For further information please contact Managing Director Arthur Wajs.