STATE and federal health ministers from Australia and New Zealand have agreed to formally task Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to begin work on developing a draft proposal on how low-THC hemp could be legally designated as a food.
The decision was made at a forum teleconference between the Health Ministers last week and is a significant step forward for the state government who has been a long-time advocate for the use of low-THC hemp as a food product. FSANZ will be provided with the findings of work completed last year to address information gaps, including finalising the consumption trial later this year, and will provide their proposal, when ready, to the forum for consideration. Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said allowing the use had the potential to open new markets for agriculture.
“This is a common sense move to ensure that once testing is complete the legalisation of low-THC hemp in food can be formally considered at the earliest possible opportunity without further delay”, he said.
"The Liberal government is committed to the industry and has streamlined the licensing and regulatory processes making it easier for our farmers to grow industrial hemp.
It is the next step for the government who has been advocating for the use of hemp as a food product.
Last year the government introduced measures to make it easier for the crop to be grown commercially in Tasmania.
In November 2015 the decision on the proposal was delayed until the next meeting of FSANZ, held in March 2016.
“Tasmanian farmers are now well placed to capitalise on new markets if the federal prohibition on hemp foods in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is lifted,” Mr Rockliff said.