The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has approved the use of hemp seeds as food.
The decision means that manufacturers in both countries will be able to legally produce products containing low levels of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.
“The standard will take effect six months after it has been gazetted and Ministers acknowledged that there is still a range of New Zealand and State and Territory legislation that currently prohibits the sale of low-THC hemp seeds as a food which will need to be amended. Ministers also supported the establishment of an Implementation and Monitoring working group,” reads a statement from the health ministers at the forum.
According to Hemp Foods Australia, the international market for hemp foods is currently around $1 billion annually. That organisation’s CEO Paul Benhaim said the demand for Australian hemp foods will quadruple in the next few years.