Tasmanian Government backs food approval for hemp

The Tasmanian Government is backing the push to approve hemp for use in food products sold in Australia and New Zealand.

As the ABC reports, the proposed law change is due to go before an Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in April, and the Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff is lobbying other governments (state and federal) to support the proposal.

“We’ve been working together since we came to government to change the views of those nationally when it comes to allowing hemp food products,” Rockliff told Industrial hemp growers.

The use of hemp in food is already legal in most countries, given that hemp is not the same thing as the drug marijuana and cannot induce a ‘high’ when consumed. This is due to the fact that it contains no or very low levels of THC, the drug component that causes such an effect.

According to Phil Warner from Ecofibre Industries, the banning of hemp stems from its association with marijuana.

He told the Advocate that 90 per cent of the cannabis species have “no drug potential” and added that “it was demonised in the 1961 Single Convention [a narcotics forum] when they didn’t even know what cannabinoids were.”