Hemp food, hemp bricks, hemp medicine, hemp clothes
Campaigners are hoping to raise awareness of New Zealand’s potential multi-million dollar hemp industry in a special week of events starting tomorrow.
The Hemp Industries Association will be meeting with the Ministry of Health, farmers and the public in a push to advertise the plant’s 50,000 practical uses and benefits, said the organisation’s treasurer, Richard Barge.
The group lobbies Government with the aim of loosening constraints on hemp and encouraging research into the field.
Currently, Kiwi farmers have to pay a $511 license fee to grow hemp.
Barge said: “New Zealand is a great place to grow hemp and the product has multiple uses outside of what people usually associate with it – medicinal and recreational cannabis. There are different varieties of plant and with sustainability becoming a key part of manufacturing, the market is growing fast.”
Hemp can be pressed into fabric, used in construction and consumed as a pill. But it can’t get you high.
Depending on who you talk to, hemp is a miracle plant.
In New Zealand, companies are harvesting hemp oil for salad dressings, health supplements and skin care products. Hemp fibres are being spun by upholsterers and designers, and even compacted into hemp bricks by construction companies.