Our two cents - Proposed hemp changes

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are seeking submissions on regulatory changes to the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 and regulations under the Food Act 2014. 

The proposed changes can be downloaded here.

Have a read of our submission then feel free to copy and paste so you too can send in a submission. All submissions need to be sent to food.policy@mpi.govt.nz before Wednesday the 20th June...

 

Proposed changes to the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 and regulations under the Food Act 2014.

 Question 1:

Yes

 

Question 2:

Yes, the restriction to one Cannabis cultivar (Cannibis Sativa) will continue to place restrictions on the development of the NZ hemp industry as it will only encourage the development of one strand for propogation and breeding purposes. If regulation uses specific THC measurement for each cultivar it will allow the industry to diversify its seed development, give growers confidence to expand the current low THC Cannibis breeds and find the crop most suited to their growing environments and market demands.

 

Question 3:

No, the crop should be allowed to be produced and sold without regulation. Any restrictions on its sale and transfer will only further delay this industry’s development and increase both compliance and production costs. The market demand will be significant and the development of new industries for both nutritional, medicinal and industrial uses will be limited with any regulation controlling the whole seed and restrict the growth of new business’s and markets both nationally and internationally. By continuing to associate Cannibis Sativa or low THC brands with Marijuanna we are only contining to justify misinformation about its phsychoactive effects when the market must get a clear message from Government that the two have a clearly defined difference in nutritional and medicinal properties.

 

Question 4:

No, with the industry being so underdeveloped in this country we are years behind overseas breeding programs and if we allow the seed to be imported under the same conditions as any other cropping seed it will benefit the industry and ensure the rapid development of new business and industries and give confidence to growers and the consumer that the crop is safe and economic to produce and consume. The need for a license to sell whole hemp seeds is just restricting further uses of this super seed. Whole hemp seeds need to be classed as a food to ensure the public can gain the full benefits of using the seed and more opportunity for people to begin adding hemp seeds to their everyday diet.

 

Question 5:

Yes

 

Question 6:

Yes, but a more comprehensive explanatory guidance is required so people aren’t needing to call the Ministry for clarification.

 

Question 7:

We think you should be able to use more than one property if you have a license, but yes also agree that an extra fee would be needed with each extra property, as described in the amendment, to recover costs of visiting the different properties. It won’t be as expensive as applying for two licenses but just enough to reflect the amount of extra work needed as described above.

 

Comment on regulation 67 – Permission:

We would like to see whole hemp seeds included in this amendment. So people or companies don’t need a license to grow, deal in, or eat, both hulled and unhulled hemp seeds. This crop has more benefits that simply economic. It is a true pioneer in its nutritional, medicinal and industrial uses. The New Zealand agriculture sector is currently facing an incredibly negative public perception and the deregulation will open up the envirnmental and sustainable impacts hemp has to all Farmers across the country.

 

If we allow farmers full, unrestricted access to the prodcution of this crop we can make signifcant progress in closing the Rural and Urban divide currently intensifying across the country. If the public can see the tangible changes the farming sector is making by including this incredibly sustainable and low input crop in their farming system, it will give them the confidence that real change is occuring.

 

The Agricultural sector in this country desperately needs the capability to show how serious they really are about the environment and the sustainability of our environment. We believe Cannibis sativa can truly help reduce the divide and hositility we are experiencing.


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