Hemp coffee perculating

Herbal company expands product line

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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BY STEVEN JACKSON

Business reporter


jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com


THE Ricardo Keith-controlled Why the Hemp Not brand will increase its line of hemp products while awaiting regulatory approval to restart selling hemp coffee.


Concurrently Green Hills Distributors, its affiliated distribution arm, recently added over two dozen products to its expanding network that covers Kingston and Mandeville.


"With regards to our hemp coffee, we are working with the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) to obtain a licence that will allow us to add Jamaica coffee to our hemp. However, we also have our hemp and dandelion tea mix for persons who are not a lover of coffee," Keith, a serial entrepreneur, stated in a mailed response to Jamaica Observer queries.


No timeline was revealed for the planned restart of hemp coffee. Last year, the CIB launched a campaign to remove unregulated coffee from retail sale. Notwithstanding the coffee challenge, the company aims to launch its hemp & chia cereal, hemp & cayenne herbal sauce, hemp shampoo, and hemp facial scrub and body lotion. The company already sells hemp protein, hemp flour, hemp tea with dandelion, hemp seed and hemp oil.


Green Hills Distributors started selling hemp products last year. The company soon found that Jamaica couldn't meet its price and supply requirements despite being known as a herb-producing nation. As such, it imports hundreds of pounds of hemp monthly to meet its demand.


The hemp products are currently distributed at Keith's affiliated stores, which include Health and Nutrition in Sovereign and Mandeville; and Life Essentials in Kingston and Portmore, St Catherine, as well as at select supermarkets.


Hemp, the male strain of the cannabis plant, remains legal because it doesn't contain the illegal THC drug produced in the buds of the female cannabis plant (ganja). The business of cannabis quickly gained legitimacy amid its legalisation in select US states. The Jamaican Government recently passed legislation to decriminalise small quantities of ganja, whilst also aiming to modify the Dangerous Drugs Act, in order to set rules for the cultivation and use of medical ganja and industrial hemp.


Green Hills recently started distributing Dark Skinz, a natural cosmetic line; Syymbol Nutrition, a line of sports and health drinks and Jah Beez, a line of flavoured honey. It also added new herbs, organic seaweed natural sugars, organic cold-pressed 100 per cent virgin coconut oil and castor oil.


"With the launch of these additional products, Green Hills Distributors Limited will now command a total of over 35 natural and herbal products," stated Keith.



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