The vision for WA Hemp Growers Co-op Ltd (HempGro) is to establish, develop and support a sustainable and prosperous hemp industry for Western Australia.

Our Story

The WA Hemp Growers’ Co-op Ltd (HempGro) was established out of a need by a number of growers to band together to develop a stronger voice in the Australian hemp industry.

Industrial hemp is an industry in its infancy in Australia, however it has a strong history in other parts of the world. Canada, Europe and now China are strong players in the hemp industry and Australia is just beginning to find its place.

In November 2017 hemp seed was legalised for human consumption, opening up a new market and giving hope and momentum to invest in the industry.

The formation of our co-op was driven by growers through the need for more knowledge, infrastructure and large scale investment and industry-wide collaboration.

HempGro was formally established in April 2018 with wide-scale support from industry and government.

We are just starting out on our journey. Through member participation and industry collaboration we will strive to achieve our vision to establish, develop and support a sustainable and prosperous hemp industry for Western Australia.

Australia’s first hemp growers’ co-operative sprouts in WA

HempGro Board and Staff

Nicole Botica (Chairperson)

Hemp industry experience
Nicole has had over 20 years experience researching the benefits of Hemp Seed Oil in the cosmetic industry. During this time she had the opportunity to educate Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, to advance research & development on Hemp Seed Oil cosmetics.  Nicole is a committee member for iHemp Association and currently has a small business making handmade Hemp Seed Oil soaps and lotions.

Other skills and experience
Nicole has over 10 years experience in project management within the community development sector fostering partnerships and building vibrant and sustainable communities.  She has event management skills and excellent public relations.  Nicole is currently working in the agricultural sector coordinating data analysis and strategic planning for a private organisation. Presently she is developing her skills in co-operative management through a post graduate course from University of Newcastle on Co-operative Organisation and Management.

WA Hemp Growers' Co-op Honorary CEO

Gail Stubber (Honorary Executive Officer)

Hemp industry experience
Gail Stubber has been growing since 2016.  She is Vice President of the Ihemp Association and has been on the committee for two years.  She was the co-founder of the WA Hemp Growers Facebook page and maintains an administrative role on the site.

Other skills and experience
Gail has a Masters in Sustainable Development based on community engagement practices and finding ways to engage country towns in raising community consciousness.  She applies her skills in democratic decision making to the development of the co-op and harnessing the talents and passions of our farmers.  She is presently developing her skills in co-operative management through a post graduate course from University of Newcastle on Co-operative Organisation and Management.

Ian Smith (Independent Board Member)

Hemp industry experience

Ian is new to the Hemp Industry and the Co-op but he has a clear vision of helping the Co-op become a voice in the Hemp industry in WA.  He sees the need to talk to Government and farmers about how this new crop can build a number of valuable industries.

Other skills and experience

Ian is a farmer from Esperance who now works as an engineer in mining processing and equipment.  He brings skills with building and developing machinery for mining and hopes to use these skills to build equipment to make processing hemp easier and more cost effective.

Richard Davy (Vice Chairperson)

Hemp industry experience
Richard is new to the hemp industry but sees massive potential on many levels for the crop. He has grown hemp successfully for three seasons. His passion is about  fibre and the many amazing outcomes from this area of the hemp plant.  However, he also grows organic hemp seed and is helping develop this industry in WA.

Other skills and experience
Richard was born into dairy farming and is a certified organic grower. He has studied biological soil science and holistic resource management and applies these practices when managing his farm. He has a strong creative side and practical problem-solving abilities.

JVH 1812D mid

Jono Van Hazel (Board Member)

Hemp industry experience

Jono is new to the hemp industry but has been conducting trials for two seasons in the south west of WA. He also has 2 years of concurrent experience with a leading Australia medicinal cannabis company which successfully delivered the first Australian grown manufactured cannabinoid medicine to patients. Since leaving that company, he co-founded Altum International which is focused on the delivery of cannabinoid inputs and finished products to the Asia Pacific region.

Other skills and experience

Jono has over 20 years of experience across a range of engineering, finance and project management roles.

Marnie Kennedy (Board Member)

Hemp industry experience

Marnie has been interested in growing hemp for several years and with the purchase of her small farm she saw the opportunity to put that interest into practice. Marnie believes the industrial hemp industry in Western Australia has the potential to grow exponentially as farmers learn about the advantages of including hemp in their farming systems, small manufacturing firms begin producing hemp products and consumers learn about the unique characteristics of this wonderful food and fibre.

Other skills and experience

Marnie has worked in consulting roles for the last 15 years and currently manages a range of market research projects. Marnie has also commenced a Bachelor of Science majoring in Regenerative Agriculture at Southern Cross University.


Gail Stubber
Executive Officer

Mob: 0449 686 928

[email protected]


PO Box 59
Carbunup General Store
Carbunup River, 6280

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