Pubdate: Fri, 21 Mar 2008
Source: Niagara This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Mike Zettel


Jim Fannon Hopes Timing Right For His Hemp Seed Product

Jim Fannon knows there's a few obstacles he'll have to surpass if
there's ever to be widespread acceptance of hemp.

The former candidate for the Green Party in several provincial and
federal elections has been selling hemp seed products under the banner
Nature's Hemp since 2000. But though Fannon, also a real estate agent,
has a fair number of loyal customers, he's keenly aware his product
line raises more than a few eyebrows.

He calls it the "giggle factor."

As in, hey, isn't hemp marijuana and isn't it fitting that the man
peddling it is part of the "green" party?

The scientific name for the plant hemp is derived from is cannabis
sativa, which is also where marijuana comes from. The difference is
hemp grown for industrial purposes such as rope and clothing or for
health food, such as hemp seeds, contains only trace amounts of the
psychoactive chemical compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

"That stigmatizing is still around," he said.

The reason Fannon is selling his hemp seed product line, which
includes hemp hearts (the fruit inside the shell) and hemp oil, is for
its health benefits. Hemp is a good source of protein, as well as
essential fatty acids, particularly Omega 3, 6, and 9.

It's because of the latter benefit that Fannon believes the time is
right for the product.

Products containing Omega fatty acids can be found in just about every
grocery and health food store. Popular sources include flax seed and
fish oil.

The reported benefits include reducing the effects of arthritis,
asthma, allergies, diabetes and depression.

"It's a big business," he said. "They're jumping on the

But Fannon said he's convinced follow-up studies of products claiming
to contain essential fatty acids will show they have little benefits
as the amounts are simply too low to be effective. Hemp seed, he said,
is the perfect source, mainly because it has the right proportions of
the three fatty acids.

"It's perfect right out of the source," he said. "This is your super
food that not too many people know about."

For more information, visit
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek