Hemporium was founded in 1996 by Duncan Parker and Alistair Maclean who were then students at UCT, with Tony Budden joining soon after to help with marketing and general hemp activism. The first order of material arrived from China in May 96 and a range of bags and clothing was developed during the course of the year, distributed in Cape Town mainly through The Hemp Shop in Long Street and through a wider range of outlets in Gauteng and even Windhoek.
Hemporium was promoted by many loyal hempathizers who generously agreed to promote the company through the user of car bumper stickers. Many activists also marched on Parliament in early 1997 in an attempt to educate people about the difference between marijuana and hemp.
Since then Hemporium has been true to its tagline of “Innovate Educate Cultivate” by innovating through the development of hundreds of different products from clothing and accessories through to cosmetics and even construction materials. Education has been incredibly important with 100’s of articles published, radio and TV interviews, YouTube video’s and many talks given locally and internationally (See “Media”).
Hemporium took “Innovate” to a pinnacle with the building of South Africa’s first hemp home in 2011. For more information please see the “videos” page.
In 2011 we finally received the opportunity to implement the “Cultivate” phase with our farming partner, Rapula Farms, receiving a Commercial Incubation Research Permit to grow 2 hectares of hemp as part of a 3 year pilot programme. 2015 will see the culmination of that programme and is a pivotal year for Cannabis Hemp in South Africa.
As far as we have come, we feel like this is only the beginning, and we look forward to the next phase of helping to set up a South African hemp industry over the next few years.