Activists for hemp as a food are patiently awaiting the April 28 meeting to find out if hemp will be approved as a food in New Zealand and Australia.
Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has recently approved a proposal to allow hemp foods into circulation provided they contained low amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. The decision will go in front of Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on food regulation scheduled April 28. This is the next scheduled Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) meeting.
In their monumental ruling with the release of this circular, FSANZ state that there is no danger in consuming hemp as food. CEO of Hemp Foods Australia Paul Benhaim has been fighting for hemp as a food in the country for years.
He continues to let us know that there is a need for the hemp plant to be separated from the psychoactive cannabis plant. They are two different plants, and thus should be treated differently in the eye of the law. Benhaim added that this isn’t only “not a drug”. It is also a healthy form of nutrition and a sustainable crop for many farmers. Legalizing hemp for food in New Zealand and Australia will also create “considerable job opportunities” in the farming industry.
Benhaim has confidence that CoAG will lift the ban on hemp being sold as a food. If the law is passed hemp will be sold legally as a food by November 2017. Despite confidence from those who have been fighting for legal hemp in the food industry, some still have doubts. CoAG has denied similar proposals in the past despite logical advice. However, this time there is more research as to the difference between hemp and Cannabis Sativa and Indica.
The highly nutritious source of plant-based protein is currently sold in many countries as a nutritious health food. With legalization of hemp as a food farmers, manufacturers, and general citizens will benefit.
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