Hemp might reminds us of psychoactive drugs. But using hemp for medical purpose is allowed in 39 states in the US starting California in 1996. The move is spreading fast to other well to do countries as of today. In South Korea, a number of lawmakers proposed a related law in 2018 but in void due to the national sentiment then not seemed to be ready yet. The president elect Seokyoul Yoon, however, laid an importance on promoting bio, vaccine and agricultural industries so the affected industries are expecting good news from the new government. Meanwhile, Greenery, a South Korean hemp grower in Colorado, US, is attracting attention amid the move for change.
Beneficial Effects of Hemp
Experts focus on the substance contained in hemp: cannabidiol aka CBD. It is recognized by the WHO for high beneficial effects and for the various application areas such as medicines, foods and cosmetics. At the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence held a few years ago, the WHO reported that CBD was a useful remedy for easing symptoms of epilepsy without the risk of addiction. The report also delivered effectiveness of CBD as to ease symptoms of 17 diseases including Alzheimer’s and cancer. The upper part of hemp, where flowers bloom, contains rich THC and the stem and the shelled seeds CBD. While THC causes hallucination, CBD not.
Powdered CBD from Stem
Jaeyeol Lee, CEO of Greenery, is cultivating quality hemps in 4 farms in Colorado. His plan is to make CBD into powder and supply it to South Korea in competitive price. And he is now ready to do it. The CBD powder is registered to the FDA and has no legal issues in South Korea because it contains 0% THC but 100% CBD from the stem. The powder can be used as original ingredient to make medicines, foods and cosmetics.
“The amount of CBD extracted from stem is less than flowers and leaves which makes it less commercially used in the US. Shelled seeds also do not contain CBD. In other words, to legally circulate CBD powder for medical and industrial purposes in South Korea has only one way: CBD from the stem. And Greenery is the only one that has necessary technical skills to do it” says Lee.
|▲ Greenery / CEO Jaeyeol Lee|
Location and Production Capacity
Colorado has an excellent environment for growing hemp. The state is nestled in high altitude and keeps dry weather all the time. In other words, South Korea, where humidity is high, is not ideal for growing hemp but import.
“Location often is everything to grow a certain crop because the climate maximizes active components as well as productivity. The 4 hemp farms we are running in Colorado has capacity to produce monthly 10 tons of powdered CBD. 1kg CBD powder can make 10,000 units of cosmetics. This also is the reason that we can be able to supply CBD power to South Korea in competitive price.”
$46.8 Billion Worth Global Hemp Market in 2025
Industry experts are expecting the value of global hemp market to reach $46.8 billion by 2025. With this promising market forecast, Lee is ambitious to push forward his plan of supplying powdered CBD to South Korea. As part of this effort, Lee signed a MOU with a famous pet health care brand last year to develop CBD for pet products.
“This year will be the initiative of my CBD powder supply. Starting from cosmetics, I will expand the scope to foods, medicines and pet foods through confident clinical tests and certifications. Despite the industry is still in stagnation in South Korea, I hope the Yoon government will bring something substantial to the industry as he has laid an importance in promoting bio and agricultural. Meanwhile, I will use my knowledge and experience to supply quality CBD powder to be used beneficially to our health and everyday life” says Lee. <PowerKorea>
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