Hemp Innovations: Product Development and Improvement

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About: In recent decades, Hemp’s applications have diversified, stretching beyond textiles and seeds to open up the vast universe of cannabinoids and industrial innovations. This panel will explore product developments and improvements which feed into the exciting future landscape for hemp. Where does the trajectory of hemp innovations lead?

Facilitator: Gerald, The Hemp Club


Martin Ernegg began his work as a molecular sculptor in 1986 in Austria. His work included creating building materials from cardboard and paper and cloth. Returning to his home, Australia, Martin created  Hempstone by grinding hemp mache into its individual molecules and then realigning the molecules so their ‘faces’ are perfectly aligned.  Martin has now begun grinding raw hemp bast into Hempstone and molding artifacts of great practical use and beauty. In association with NRHGC Martin is building a workshop to make Hempstone artifacts and share his knowledge with the farmers who will take his work further.

Gerald: My interest in cannabis spans 50+ years, in which time I have dedicated my selves to the plant. I have propagated cannabis on every continent except Antartica plus a few non continental islands. For the last six years I have propagated it under licence. The three main strands of my interest now lay in plant fibre as a building material, cosmetic use of the whole plant for health and rejuvenation, carbon sequestration by means of cannabis hemp bio-char.

Hanna and Leon are Hemp Threads, an industrial hemp company formed in 2019 which aims to bring local hemp production and processing to the northern rivers. We have experimented with fibres, building materials, foods and forms of regenerative farming. We are currently specialising in hemp seed oil and flour production with the help of our cold pressed oil machine. We envision small-scale hemp farms with centralised processing facilities to empower people to live on the land and contribute to a plant-based economy. We are passionate about regenerative agriculture and organic cannabis cultivation to help heal damaged agricultural land.

Dr Andrew Katelaris: I graduated from Sydney University Medicine in 1982 and in 1992 was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine in the sub-specialty of Immunopathology. My interest in Cannabis and Hemp started in 1988 while researching for solutions to the old growth forest controversy which opened the hidden history of the industrial uses of Cannabis and the political basis of the Cannabis prohibition. In 1995 we produced a documentary “Billion Dollar Crop” which outlined the many uses of Cannabis Hemp for the production of paper, clothing, building materials and many more items. In 1998 I obtained the first ever licence to cultivate Cannabis for scientific research and analysis. Our research proved very successful as we demonstrated that Cannabis is an efficient weed smothering and soil conditioning crop, which produced a large quantity of quality fibre, a nutritious seed and a safe and effective resin medicine.

Robert Tonks’s company builds off grid pyrolysis equipment to turn carbon based waste into sequestered carbon, soil and soil conditioners. Since 2019 Robert has been testing hemp as a feedstock for his pyrolysis ovens with excellent results. Robert’s technology completes the circle in hemp’s circular economy.

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