In February 2004, the multi-million dollar hemp industry won its 2 and a half year old lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The unanimous decision by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit permanently blocks DEA regulations that attempted to ban hemp foods.
"Interest in healthy hemp foods is really taking off," said Mike Fata, North American sales manager at the firm. "We have been developing this product for years and the recent court decision makes the launch very timely," he added.
The product- used in milk shakes, smoothies and baking - provides a 50 per cent protein content, achieved through a cold milling process, as well as omega 6 & 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).
"The product also contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is suitable for a controlled carbohydrate diet, " said the Canadian firm in a statement.
The product is cold milled from live viable hemp seeds. Hemp protein powder is free of the enzyme inhibitor found in some other protein powders that can prevent protein absorption and cause gas, bloating and other digestive problems, claimed the firm.
The hemp seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil that ensures that 'valuable enzymes are not destroyed and vitamins, minerals and nutrients remain intact'. The pressed hemp meal is then cold milled to separate the protein.
Under victory in February for the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) - that pulled in over $10 million in food product sales last year - the DEA may regulate marijuana and synthetic forms of the substance that gives the plant its narcotic powers but cannot stop the sale or possession of food products made from hemp plants with small amounts of the substance that makes marijuana, an illegal drug.
Ending a two-year lawsuit, the decision allows the hemp industry to build on market share in the natural products arena.
"We've experienced double-digit growth in the last two years and I believe we will continue to see the same pace in growth," Adam Eidinger at the HIA told NutraIngredientsUSA.com at the time.
Leading hemp food manufacturers in the US include Nature's Past, Dr Bronner and French Meadow Bakery. This last produces a hemp bread, a line that cashed in over $1million in sales last year.