Hemp exports: India Hemp Organics opens up food and cosmetics trade with North America, Oceania and GCC
Its nutritional products consisting of hemp protein powder, hemp seed oil and hemp hearts, as well as topical CBD oil skin care products will be available in US, Canada, Australia and the GCC region.
The medicinal products are full-spectrum CBD oils containing THC, a psychoactive compound which is still largely illegal in many countries, so will not be exported.
Its hemp foods and skin care products contain CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, which makes them export-friendly.
These products will be sold on its D2C site in the export markets, and IHO is looking to expand into the offline retail channels there.
In India, about 90% of its business comes from its online store, and 10% retailing in gourmet stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets. For its medicinal products, the oral cannabis oils are only sold through its online store, requiring a prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor. They target pain, stress and sleep concerns.
For a company that only started last year, sales in India have jumped 20% month-on-month.
The company was established after a personal experience where one of the co-founders had serious road accident and was put on strong opioid treatment, which cause physical and mental side effects. Turning to medicinal cannabis, the recovery process began and the weaning off opioids was possible.
“We work with various government stakeholders to make hemp and cannabis readily accessible for patients in India,” Rohit Kamath, co-founder and director of IHO commented on its medicinal products.
In India, hemp and cannabis is regulated by the AYUSH ministry.
Its hemp foods are made with hemp seeds, while its medicinal products are made with hemp leaves.
According to Kamath, each state in India has their own regulation when it comes to hemp leaves.
However, the upcoming hemp seed regulations looks set to create the potential for more food and beverage products using hemp seeds. The regulations are expected to be finalised this year.
For IHO, it is looking to expand the hemp foods portfolio In the hemp food space, with products like hemp peanut butter, hemp protein bars, hemp cereals and hemp milk.
According to Kamath, it is also working on new ayurvedic formulations which use hemp and cannabis along with various adaptogenic herbs from India such as ashwagandha.
In addition, IHO is also expanding into the personal care range with soaps, shampoos, face wash, using hemp and CBD as the core ingredient.
“What we are doing is building a house of brands and positioning ourselves as a global brand made from India,” Kamath said.
He cited that although hemp and cannabis originated from India, the country only contributes 0.01% of the global hemp market.
“Our mission is to put India’s hemp and cannabis on the global map and to build a global brand from India.”
IHO uses the Himalayan hemp seeds, sourced from farmers in the Himachal state. It made a goal to give 10% of sales profit to support the local farmer community.