NZHIA Public Newsletter – December 2019 – New Zealand Hemp Industries Association

December 2019 – In this issue:

  • Hemp seed food – communicating with industry
  • The Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
  • iHemp Summit and Expo – 4-6 June 2020, Rotorua
  • The Referendum – We are only interested in Low THC iHemp
  • Events – National and International 
  • iHemp in the news – Press Articles

Hemp seed food – communicating with industry

The NZHIA estimates there are more than 39 New Zealand based companies which have entered the hemp seed food industry since the law changed in December 2018.

We have written to all these companies, big and small to raise their awareness of some basic information about hemp seed foods – see here for the information

The arch enemies of hemp seed foods are heat, light and air, especially important when the seed is no longer protected by its shell i.e when cold pressed into an oil or hulled.

Rancid oil (in seed and oil products) can be initially identified, by a slightly smelly, puttyish/fish aroma, a bitter taste on the pallet. Fresh oil should have a pleasant nutty taste, with a creamy mouth feel, not slimy.

The basic information relates to;

  • the need for appropriate food control plans
  • the need for appropriate packaging
  • the regulatory requirements regarding hemp foods and labeling

See the Fact sheet and communication to the food industry here

The Medicinal Cannabis Scheme

The government have clearly defined industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis as two very separate industries. 

Industrial hemp grown under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006, will not be allowed as a starter material for use in a medicinal cannabis product.

As with illicit cannabis growers, our iHemp growers can supply 20 plants or 50 seeds to a Medical Cannabis grower.  This is of limited help if they want to grow a large crop outside and ignores the fact we are licenced under the 2006 iHemp regulations.

Medicinal cannabis products now have their own legislation dealing with therapeutic uses of cannabis, so the iHemp industry can concentrate on making quality hemp products from our low THC crops.

Our iHemp farmers need access to the revenue streams from all parts of the plant so supplying in to the massive global, consumer-driven market for cannabis wellness products is a no brainer.

Supplying high value, branded products into these global niche markets is a way to bank roll the emerging industry for fibre and food.

There are still hurdles to work through, but the demand for naturally occurring, plant-based supplements, natural health products, nutraceuticals and cosmetics is growing worldwide, and our industry needs access to this cash flow.

These markets will need to be export-driven whilst the local legislative framework catches up.

If you are planning to get a medicinal cannabis licence, MOH are putting on Industry and Māori Stakeholder Workshops  to help with licence applications. If you are interested contact –

iHemp Summit and Expo 4-6 June 2020, Rotorua 

This year there will also be an iHemp Expo, with a public Open Day on Saturday 6th June 2020.

The event will start with a Welcome reception on the 4th, followed by two full conference and expo days.

Sponsorship and Exhibitor packs are available by contacting

Building on the 2018 Summit themes we will be bringing forward the road map and strategic direction for the emerging iHemp Industry in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Explaining a collaborative vision for the industry in 2025 and beyond. 

Attendees please register here

Exhibitor pack – here
Sponsor pack – here

Referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

The Government Referendum Website is here

The NZHIA objectives state that we have no interest in the recreational cannabis debate, except where it may impede industry development. However there could be changes to the iHemp regulations so we are drawn into the conversation.

Our role is to provide facts and evidence and to ensure people understand the difference between high and low THC cannabis. 

  • Low THC industrial hemp – an arable crop, used for centuries as a source of food, fiber and shelter
  • High THC cannabis (Marijuana) associated with recreational use, currently illegal crops – grown indoors and outdoors.

Cannabis medicine can involve both high and low THC products and is now covered by it’s own regulations.

The proposed referendum question is:  Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

This referendum will ask the public whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal.

The Government has released a draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill for public consideration. The draft Bill describes the key aspects of proposed rules about growing, selling and purchasing cannabis for recreational purposes. The Government is publishing a draft Bill at this point to ensure that New Zealanders are informed about the direction being taken and the decisions that have been made to date. The final draft Bill, which will be released in early 2020, will contain more detail and take into account feedback on the current draft.


February 25-28 2020 – Australian Industrial Hemp Conference
March 19, 2020 – Medcan 2020, Auckland
April 21-23, 2020 – Cannabis Conference, Las Vegas, USA
June 4-6,2020 – iHemp Summit and Expo, Rotorua

Recent iHemp – New Zealand press articles

7 December 2019 – Newshub – Kiwi startup invests in hemp hats 
5 December 2019 – Star News, Canterbury, Top eateries to satisfy the munchies during hemp week
6 December 2019 – RNZ – From Dairy farming to hemp cultivation
3 December 2019 – Rural News, Hemp Growers aiming high
3 December 2019 – Referendums website and initial cannabis bill launched
22 November 2019 – Winetitles Media – World first industrial hemp study in vineyards taking place in Marlborough  
14 November 2019 – Stuff – Medicinal cannabis company raises $1 million in just over a week

Join the NZHIA for more information and support for your hemp enterprise, together we stand! 

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