South African cannabis activist and hemp entrepreneur Tony Budden, and two principle industry players from Australia – Paul Benhaim, Hemp Foods Australia, and Phil Warner, Ecofibre — are among international headliners at this year’s NoCo Hemp Expo, as the world’s largest industrial hemp gathering continues to expand its footprint around the globe. NoCo also announced the completion of its international panel with the addition of industry stakeholders from Asia, Europe and the USA.
The 5th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo will run April 6-7 in Loveland, Colorado, USA.
“We spent a lot of time in different parts of the world last year and met some incredible people doing truly innovative things for the industry,” said Morris Beegle of We Are for Better Alternatives (WAFBA) and Colorado Hemp Company (CoHempCo), the event’s organizer. “NoCo’s bringing together more great companies, products, speakers and energy from around the world than ever before.”
NoCo will for the second year host a Global Hemp Village, where international companies will present their products and services. Companies from Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Nepal, France, Germany and South Africa are among those already signed to be present on the Expo floor this year.
Budden is South African pioneer
Budden is a founding partner at Hemporium, South Africa’s premier hemp company. Hemporium has pioneered the use of industrial cannabis products since 1996, built Africa’s first hemp house and was instrumental in launching hemp-lime construction material in South Africa. He also is involved in hemp research trials in both South Africa and Malawi.
Benhaim is CEO at Hemp Foods Australia (HFA), the southern hemisphere’s biggest hemp food player, which deals in hemp seeds, oil and protein. He is also CEO at U.S.-based CBD-maker Elixinol, which made its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange in January 2018 and has established operations on four continents.
Warner’s company is an internationally recognized enterprise in hemp production and market development which has invested more than $15 million into research and development of new high yield commercial plant varieties, agriculture and processing. He’s also been an adviser to stakeholders in Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Malawi and the United States.
International panel rounded out
Three additional global hemp stakeholders have been named to the international panel at NoCo.
Panelists named to round out the session are: Kelly Knutson, CEO of Isolate Extraction Systems Inc. USA & Europe; Anar Artur, CEO and founder of HempMongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Harshaavardhan Redi Sirupa, Managing Partner, Namrata Hemp Company (NHCO), Bangalore, India.
Knutson is an entrepreneur focused on equipment manufacturing and next generation technology development. As the founder of IES, he created a leading product and brand within the supercritical extraction industry. Before IES Knutson and the other founders of Keef Cola developed production systems, operating procedures, and formulations for infusing beverages.
Guests from Mongolia
Artur started the first and to date only company in Mongolia licensed and authorized to conduct hemp cultivation, production and export. He graduated from Raffles International University, Mongolia in business and marketing. Before starting HempMongolia in 2016, Anar served as marketing supervisor at leading Mongolian private companies including MCS Coca Cola LLC. and Petrovis LLC.
Sirupa is a serial entrepreneur and business strategist whose company is working toward the mass cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in India. He has nearly a decade’s experience in business consultation and operations, having worked previously as Chief Operating Officer at Diya Business Consulting, Bangalore. In 2007, he founded KnowPro Solutions, a KPO a specialist in retail solutions and cancer therapies based on stem cell research.
They’ll join previously named panelists Hana Gabrielova, European hemp veteran, and founder and CEO at Hempoint, Czech Republic; Rachele Invernizzi, president at SouthHemp Tecno srl, a hemp processor in Crispiano Taranto in southern Italy; and Dhiraj K. Shah, co-founder of Shah Hemp Inno-Ventures (SHIV), Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kehrt Reyher, Editor & Publisher at Poland-based HempToday will moderate the panel.
Isolate Extraction Systems, Louisville, Colorado, is the main sponsor of the Global Hemp Village. Host sponsors for an international HempBoutique pop-up shop organized by HempToday for NoCo are Tiny Hemp Houses, Ft. Collins, Colorado; and Highland Hemp House, Bellingham, Washington.