First of its kind hemp seed shipment from Australia to New Zealand

First of its kind hemp seed shipment from Australia to New Zealand

This first successful export of hemp seed from Australia to New Zealand has taken place under new legislation allowing exports passed in June.

The shipment was announced by the Australian government via the office of the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management. The announcement touted the economic opportunity available for hemp and medicinal cannabis exports for Australia.

The new legislation removes unnecessary regulatory barriers and will support better access to international markets for the emerging hemp and medicinal cannabis industries.

David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management

“The Australian Government wants our agricultural industries to be able to capitalise on the opportunities that flow from growth in our regions and globally,” David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management said in the press release.

“To help us achieve this, we need to ensure that we have appropriate regulatory settings to enable exports to grow and in turn to help drive productivity and increase returns at the farm gate.

“The new legislation removes unnecessary regulatory barriers and will support better access to international markets for the emerging hemp and medicinal cannabis industries.” 

The shipment was the first of it’s kind since the Australian government amendment legislation last month. Hemp exporters can now receive the certification from the the Australian Government that is needed for some export markets, including Canada. One industry representative estimates there are about 3,000 hectares of hemp plantations across Australia.

The government press release announcing the first shipment to New Zealand says this change allows for the export of seeds, raw hemp and hemp food products, such as de-hulled hemp seeds and health powders containing hemp.

In November 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code permitted the sale and consumption of low-THC hemp seed foods, allowing producers the opportunity to access a growing global industry worth more than $500 million.

The export of medicinal cannabis products was legalized in February 2018 through the Narcotic Drugs Amendment (Cannabis) Regulations 2018.


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