7. What is your position on industrial hemp?
TOP takeaway: We expect the legalisation of cannabis will allow for these regulations around hemp to be relaxed so that a commercial hemp market may prosper.
Hemp can effectively be considered a low THC strain of the cannabis plant. It has long been cultivated for use in commercial and industrial applications such as construction materials, rope, clothing, oil, and food. Current laws in New Zealand have recently been reviewed and products made from hemp seeds are now deemed safe for human consumption by the Ministry of Health. This is viewed as a small concession due to the other potentially useful components of the hemp plant. The main issues with commercialising hemp is its close relationship to other forms of cannabis, namely those that have high levels of THC, and that CBD (which is present in hemp) is still regulated as a controlled drug by the Ministry of Health.
We expect the legalisation of cannabis will allow for these regulations around hemp to be relaxed so that a commercial hemp market may prosper.