Hemp could be on your menu in the near future as the Queensland Government has backed the proposal to approve low-THC hemp seed as a legal food substance in Australia.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said Queensland voted in favour of permitting low-THC hemp seed for human consumption at the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation held in Adelaide on Friday.
“Hemp seeds and oil have a high nutritional value and are currently used safely in foods in many other countries,” Mr Dick said.
“It’s important to know that hemp seeds contain extremely low levels of THC so hemp food products have no psychoactive effects at all.
“An important consideration for Ministers at the Forum was the recently completed Swinburne University Melbourne research which shows consumption of hemp seed foods would have no impact on roadside drug testing because THC levels were so low.”
Mr Dick said the decision to approve low-THC hemp seed as a food would also open up economic benefits for the state’s primary production sector, particularly licensed hemp growers and processers.
“We know that hemp seeds and their oil are already used extensively in foods in North America and Europe, so enabling it to be a legal food source will provide many opportunities,” he said.
“Hemp is already cultivated in Australia under strict licensing agreements as a source of fibre for clothing and some building products, however it is currently illegal to sell the product as a food.
“Enabling hemp seed to be a legal food source will also provide entrepreneurial opportunities with new types of food products that can be sold, particularly health foods.”
Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government was leading the way on using safe cannabis products to improve the health of Queenslanders.
“We have already introduced Australia’s most robust laws to allow legitimate patients access to medicinal cannabis and now we’re supporting the move to give Queenslanders access to nutritious hemp products,” he said.
“We are committed to providing and supporting holistic health care to patients and that’s why we have worked so hard to ensure beneficial treatments are available safely and legally.”
Amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to allow the sale of hemp food products are expected to come into effect in the next six months.