Jacek Kramarz: HemPoland was founded in 2014 by Maciej Kowalski. It originated as a farming company, growing hemp mainly for the seed and fibre. In 2015, it increased its production area to 250ha, and started investing in sourcing CBD and other natural phytocannabinoids from hemp.
It bought its first custom-engineered SFE device (CO2 extraction) and after six months of R&D, the first batch of golden CBD oil reached the market. In spring 2016, HemPoland lauched its own brand of CBD oils, CannabiGold, which took the European market by storm.
Apart from CBD oil, the company also offers CBD products including capsules, chewing gums, edibles and eliquids. In 2017, HemPoland successfully harvested hemp from more than 500ha, making it the biggest producer in Poland, and one of the leading suppliers in Central and Eastern Europe.
The main product is hemp extract, which is rich in natural phytocannabinoids. HemPoland also offers a full range of hemp-based products. In 2017, its production of hempseed will exceed 350t, and the company is now offering unprocessed whole seeds as well as hulled hempseed, hemp bran and protein. HemPoland also produces hemp straw.
Quality is central. HemPoland has a dedicated team of quality control experts, and its own well-equipped laboratory, which enables it to closely monitor plants and products. Most of the company's fields are located in Vistula delta, a very hemp-friendly area. Since all the fields are less than an hour from the facility, they can be checked regularly.
The soil is checked prior to sowing. During the growth period, hemp samples are taken and checked every week. HemPoland grows only certified EU industrial hemp and no pesticides and herbicides are used. Every product is natural and clean; there is really no room for comprise when it comes to quality.
HemPoland never subcontracts any part of its production. This allows it to have better control of its products and streamline costs. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of poor-quality hemp extracts on the market produced in poor conditions and with no supervision or quality assurance. Many of them are past their due dates.
There are very few professional CBD producers in Europe who really know what they are doing. I always recommend that everyone interested in CBD checks if potential suppliers have their own hemp material, laboratories and extraction equipment. All those are crucial to quality assurance.
It is also worth checking how the extraction is performed. The best method involves CO2 extraction, which results in contaminant free-products. If you want to buy a quality CBD extract, make sure no crystalline or synthetic cannabinoids are added. Good companies should also provide full analytical support and robust post-sales service. HemPoland offers all this.
First, it has learned the importance of quality assurance in hemp production. HemPoland has been successful partly because it has proved itself able to consistently deliver large quantities of quality hemp product.
Hemp is a unique crop, and extract and seeds are natural products that are difficult to standardise. The complexity involved is huge. There are tens of different hemp varieties, suitable for different kinds of production. Each weather season is different- the sun, moisture, different soils.
Managing these ever-changing factors is not possible without a deep understanding of the plant and its processing methods. This is why it needs to be done in-house, without subcontractors. It is also vital to have a dedicated quality assurance team to develop the procedures that will guarantee the consistency of the product.
Moreover, HemPoland has learned about hemp's unstable regulatory environment. Current regulations are outdated, and based on an unjustified stigma against cannabis (related to hemp). Even though there are certain pan-European laws, they are interpreted differently in each place.
There is much work ahead to create regulations that will protect the customer while allowing the industry to expand. This is why HemPoland is a member of the European Industrial Hemp Association, and it encourages other companies to join, too.
The company is always looking to create products that can make a difference. It did it with the CBD extracts, by establishing a new standard - golden CBD oil. Consumers are looking for this kind of product, as they know it is a sign of quality.
Whatever HemPoland come up with needs to be unique. This takes a lot of research and development, so the plan is to learn, grow hemp and create exciting products.