NZHIA Public Newsletter – January to February 2020 – New Zealand Hemp Industries Association

Public Newsletter – Jan-Feb 2020 – In this issue:

  • Finola is back – a successful season for a Tirau iHemp farmer
  • Hemp Building project, Northland – Volunteers Wanted
  • iHemp – 4 research studies from New Zealand
  • iHemp Summit and Expo, 3-6 June Rotorua
  • Events – National and International 
  • iHemp in the news – Press Articles

Approved Variety – FINOLA is back in New Zealand

James and Ella Bailey, Sustainable Hemp Ltd, Momona Farms, Tirau, New Zealand.

Sustainability is a term that is used a lot these days. However, it is the key driver to any decision-making process in our farming business and it is how we ended up getting involved in the hemp industry so we are running with it!

Sustainable Hemp Ltd was created in 2019 to be the vehicle for us to explore hemp as a diversification option that will complement and strengthen the resilience of our farming businesses.

After talking to the many good people in the NZ hemp industry we were conscious of the difficulties in growing hemp. We decided we needed to grow a shorter cultivar that we could deal with easily at harvest time, and focus on being able to grow a good yielding crop for hemp seed in our first year.

FINOLA is an auto flowering, short life cycle, low growing cultivar originating from Finland, developed by Jace Callaway and his wife Anita Hemmilla. Jace and Anita have been in this business for nearly 30 years. FINOLA has become a widely used industrial hemp seed cultivar around the globe, especially in Canada where it has made up to 40% of the national crop. You can learn more about the cultivar at

We embarked on the process of importing FINOLA into New Zealand in June 2019. We concurrently pulled together a drying facility in the Waikato with the help of Gavins Ltd, and purchased our own combine harvester. Most importantly, we found a market for our seed crop and entered into supply contract with Carrfields to supply Hempfarm NZ for the 2019/20 season.

We began planting FINOLA on the 16th November 2019 following the FINOLA agronomical advice, and adapting it to our environmental considerations as best as we could.

In mid-January we had the pleasure of hosting Jace and Anita from FINOLA at our farm in Tirau. We took the opportunity to open up our farm and invited a cross section of growers, processors, distributors, industry representatives, and people just interested in hemp to come along and discuss hemp with our guests and view our crops. The field day was a great success and we learned a lot about everything from the agronomic to the culinary potential of hemp. Jace and Anita were very happy with how FINOLA was growing in Tirau.

On the 3rd February (day 79) we harvested our first (and best) paddock, it arrived at the drying facility at 18% moisture and dried down to 8%. It yielded over 1,400 kg of field dressed, dried seed per hectare, it is now waiting to be machine cleaned and dressed so the final yield data is still pending.

We have now finished harvesting all our 2019/20 hemp crop with what looks like a good result overall considering it is our first year growing. We had several paddocks averaging in the 1,300 kg of field dressed dried seed/ha, but we also had some paddocks that yielded well below 1,000 kg/ha. We hope to average somewhere around the 1,000 kg of dressed seed per hectare.

We have learnt a great deal and had our fair share of challenges in some paddocks with certain weeds. Birds became a factor in the later-planted plots, and we expect they will be back next year in force! Harvesting went relatively smoothly but with some lessons learned for next year in how we can become more efficient.

Another learning is that typically the FINOLA seed is smaller (2mm) in comparison to other cultivars, and is sometimes considered an oil seed crop. However, at this latitude and in this environment, the seeds we are growing are in the 3-4 mm size range making it a viable de-hulling seed for hemp hearts and other products.

Overall the results have exceeded our expectations. We are very excited to be involved in the small,but growing NZ hemp industry. The only down side is we must wait until next spring to plant some more! Still, there is lots to do in the meantime like learning how to use this amazing product in more accessible culinary applications.

Sustainable Hemp Ltd will be importing FINOLA for the 2020/21 growing season. If you are interested in growing FINOLA, or would like to chat with us about our experiences this season please feel free to contact James at

Hemp building project in Northland, looking for volunteers  

An opportunity to learn how to construct a home using hempcrete – one of the most exciting and ecologically sound building materials available.

If you are interested in being involved in this space,check out here for more details 

Check out this u-tube clip for a good overview of the hempcrete construction process 

iHemp – 4 Research studies from New Zealand

It is not surprising that some New Zealand specific research is available, here are four examples covering growing , phytoremediation and medical.

Hemp is one of the most studied plants in the world and NZ/Aotearoa is set for a boom in science and research as we look in to the facts and evidence, supporting the use of the plant. 

It will take time to replace hydro carbons with carbohydrates, and the fiber industry will require considerable R&D, this presents many unique opportunities for our kiwi ingenuity, and to add value to our science & tech ecosystems.

Industry is moving toward more sustainable outcomes, – climate change considerations are now driving innovation and consumers are demanding products that meet their environmental expectations.  

So now is the perfect time to rediscover iHemp as a new, sustainable industry feed-stock. The NZ Hemp Industry is poised to become a world leader in developing commercial applications for all parts of the iHemp plant.

iHemp Summit and Expo 4-6 June 2020, Rotorua 

Early bird registrations will be closing on 31 March 2020. We recommend you take advantage of these low rates. The PR is starting and the program and speakers are being announced, with more updates in March.

Attendees please register here

Exhibitor pack – here –  Sponsor pack – here – get in quick so we can profile your company!

Events – Local and International

February 25-28 2020 – Australian Industrial Hemp Conference
March 31- 1 April – 9th international Hemp building Symposium, Yorkshire, UK
March 18- 19, 2020 – Medcan 2020, Auckland
April 21-23, 2020 – Cannabis Conference, Las Vegas, USA
June 4-6,2020 – iHemp Summit and Expo, Rotorua

Recent iHemp – New Zealand press articles

20 January 2020 Scoop – Options for hemp-derived food products
20 January 2020 Waatea – Maori hemp businesses look to exports
12 January 2020 NZ Herald – Former Super Rugby star claims pain killer ‘epidemic’ amongst athletes
5 January 2020  stuff – Is NZ on the cusp of a hemp revolution?
19 December 2019  Freshleaf analytics – NZ finalises medical cannabis regulations
10 December 2019 – Stuff – Traditional farming family launches hemp seed oil business
1 December 2019 – Scion – Hemp products for the circular bioeconomy
6 December 2019Hemp Foundation
4 December 2019 – Stuff- Crowdfunded Marlborough medicinal cannabis company to begin hemp planting
12 November 2019Stuff – Marlborough’s sunshine a “point of difference” in cannabis cultivation 
12 October 2019 -Hawkes Bay today – Chris Sayegh: Cannabis hospitality on show in Napier
3 June 2018 – Horse Talk, So long, soy: Hemp gaining popularity among horse owners

Join the NZHIA for more information and support for your hemp enterprise, together we stand! 

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