THE state government has vowed to keep fighting for the legalisation of industrial hemp in Tasmania, after the proposal to legalise the plant as a food product was knocked back by Australian and New Zealand health ministers on Friday.
Earlier in the week, the government announced that it would work to loosen regulations around the manufacture and sale of industrial hemp products in Tasmania.
The decision received praise from hemp industry stakeholders and agricultural leaders, before being shot down at the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué less than two days later.
The committee voted down the motion, declaring that the legalisation may send a confused message to consumers about the acceptability and safety of cannabis.
"Several concerns were raised by some forum members, including law enforcement issues, particularly from a policing perspective in relation to roadside drug testing, and cannabidiol levels, as well as the marketing of hemp in food may send a confused message to consumers about the acceptability and safety of cannabis," a statement from the committee read.
Despite the setback, the government said it would keep fighting. "At the forum, I voted to accept low-THC hemp in foods, however the forum determined there were still safety concerns associated with the move," Health Minister Michael Ferguson said.
"Therefore it is our intention to work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to resolve those concerns and get it back on the agenda as soon as possible."