I listened to a radio interview recently.. at least one company in Aotearoa/NZ is now growing Hemp for seed. This seed is being pressed into oil (mostly for cooking). Hemp has been re-legalised to grow in NZ, since a bill passed in 2006 that amended the ‘misuse of DRUGS act’.. this gave approval, under license to grow the plant (that had been grown commercially for over 5000 years.. prior to the insanity of 20th Century – Marihuana tax act 1937, Reefer madness etc)
The interviewee stated some rather interesting points:
1) Hemp is still often associated with the illicit drug : ‘Marijuana’ (same plant, but a different variety is used for hemp) It has been stated “you could smoke a whole field of HEMP & get NO ‘drug high’ but just a massive headache”. Having said that, the association is still widely made, that people are only using Hemp for drug reasons (what a load of B-S)
2) Hemp seed can be also used to make ‘seed-cake’ (currently used as animal feed) & other foods.. high in essential fatty acids (Omega 3 & 6) & could be equally beneficial to humans. It can also be milled into flour. The only problem (in NZ) being that there is still a Govt. ban on human consumption (as food items) other than oil.
3) Much of the western world, including Europe, Britain & Canada are now allowing Hemp to be commercially grown for a raft of products (including food) BUT Aotearoa/NZ is still severely dragging the chain.
A little known fact; NZ was a huge Hemp producer in the 19th century & supplied the fibre for sails & ropes for many of the worlds ships.
Again I wonder whether there are other ‘industries’ that are bringing pressure/lobbying the Govt. of NZ to stop widespread Hemp production.. because it will impede their profits ?
A point that was also stated: Hemp can be grown without the need for massive amounts of chemical pesticides & fertilisers (currently used for other farming) which are poisoning the environment !