Bauxite explorer and eventual miner Queensland Bauxite (ASX: QBL) is diversifying its commercial portfolio by making progress not with the drill-bit, but, rather, the stroke of a pen.
The resources company has signed a range of commercial deals in the medical cannabis space in recent months in order to gain exposure to revenues from one of the most intriguing and rapidly-growing market sectors in Australia — medical cannabis.
Having secured a 55% stake in Medical Cannabis Limited (MCL), an Australian leader in the hemp and cannabis industries, the company has announced the release of a “first of its kind” product to the Australian market — Australian grown and processed hemp seed oil soft-gel capsules.
The soft-gel capsules will be sold through VitaHemp, a subsidiary of MCL, making it the second in its growing line of health-food products to be sold through VitaHemp.
Aiming for green
MCL’s aim is to satisfy the growing demand for nutritional supplements that do not use meat and fish products.
One of the key objectives is to provide an “omega 3-6-9” product given that this particular segment has been left vacant, with consumers having no choice but to consume omega 3-6-9 via animal or fish oils, including intensively farmed by-products from fish aquaculture.
Australian consumers are now seeking plant-based alternatives such as hemp seed oil which provide the same important essential fatty acids (EFAs) and gamma linoleic acids (GLAs) as fish and meat products, but without the huge impact on wildlife and by extension, animal welfare.
According to research conducted by Dr Artemis Simopoulos, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, hemp seed oil contains an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for the body in an optimal 1:3 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 required for body consumption and use, whereas fish oil capsules (such as salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies) can have a sub-optimal profile of around seven to twenty times the omega-6 to omega-3 oils.
VitaHemp says that its soft-gel capsules “guarantee Australian grown hemp seeds, and contain no chemical residues, no mercury and no odours, which are common causes of complaint about fish oil capsules”. The company added it intends to use “only careful cold-pressing, slow-filtering processes and climate-controlled conditions to ensure real quality.”
“The Board of QBL are very pleased to see the continued development of MCL’s business, including the release of this new innovative and quality product which we anticipate will be well received by consumers, and thereby generate significant revenues for the benefit of all our shareholders,” said Pnina Feldman, executive chairperson of Queensland Bauxite.