Further delays over hemp seed food sales in NZ, fears raised over roadside drug testing

Officials seem to be having trouble making up their minds over establishing food standards to allow the sale of hemp seed food products in New Zealand.

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew is hopeful the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum will be able to assess the proposed hemp standard again early next year.

The best available science shows us that hemp seed is safe to eat and has positive nutritional properties. - Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew

She said “New Zealand supports a standard allowing the sale of hemp seed food products". 

“However, the Ministerial Forum had some unanswered questions when it met in January,” says Ms Goodhew.


Areas of concern are the possible impact of low-THC (the mind-altering substance in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol) on roadside police drug testing, and establishing the levels of cannabidiol present in all hemp seed food products.  

Cannabidiol is one of 85 cannabinoids in cannabis, and is considered to have widespread medical applications.

Organic food retailers withdrew hemp products from sale over a year ago when Australian and New Zealand food ministers reversed Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s approval for the sale of hemp seed products.