Hemp foods fight for legality

The Australian hemp industry is fighting for the crop to be legalised as a food and separated from its cousin, marijuana.

Hemp is a highly nutritious plant, has no psychoactive ability, and has long been incorrectly associated with the illicit variety of cannabis; marijuana.

Federal Member for Richmond, Mrs Justine Elliot visited Hemp Foods Australia in Bangalow this week to be briefed on the latest developments in the industry.

Australian food laws are currently under review to legalise hemp as a food. Ingredients like hemp seeds, flour, oil and protein powder are commonly used as nutrional food sources throughout the world.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has recommended that low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the pyscho-active ingredient in marijuana) be approved as a food in Australia.

The report by FSANZ said “low THC hemp foods” are highly nutritious and contain virtually no THC.

FSANZ’s recommendation is currently under review and will be considered by Australian state ministers in June 2014.

International hemp expert and CEO of Hemp Foods Australia, Mr Paul Benhaim said hemp is one of the most versatile and eco-friendly substances on our planet.

“Hemp is not marijuana and has no psychoactive ability,” Mr Benhaim said.

“Studies have found that even heavy consumption of hemp foods over long periods will not produce a positive drug test.

“Hemp is highly nutritious source of quality plant-based protein and has extensive health benefits.

“It is a rich source of omegas, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, making it an ideal alternative for vegetarians and anyone with allergies to soy and dairy.

“Hemp also has great economic and environment benefits for Australia. Hemp farming uses much less water than cotton and could remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.”

The hemp industry generates approximately $13 million in trade for Australia with over 350 per cent growth from 2012 to 2013. If approved, demand for hemp food products in Australia is expected to quadruple in 2014.

For more information on the hemp industry and how you can support the Australian approval of hemp as a food go to www.hempfoods.com.au.

Hemp facts

− Hemp is not marijuana.
− Hemp has no psychoactive properties.
− Hemp contains none to low traces of THC
− Hemp contains an anti-psychoactive substance called … CBD
− Hemp is also used for industrial purposes (textiles, paper, building materials)

Media Contact: Paul Benhaim paul@hempfoods.com.au 02 6687 1260

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