The answer has to be YES! Industrial hemp ticks all the right boxes.
Forestry, sheep & beef, kiwi fruit & apple, and the dairy industries are well established in Aotearoa New Zealand. Other crops are being considered, but only industrial hemp has the potential to be the next multibillion dollar primary industry.
There are many new alternative land uses on the horizon, but none are as exciting as the newcomers on the block…industrial hemp.
Industrial Hemp (iHemp) is an annual crop that is desireable because it is a rotational crop that compliments other primary industries and provides positive environment, social and economic benefits and outcomes – checking the right boxes!
The NZ Hemp Industries Association works to unite the primary industry and develop the emerging iHemp industry in the food, fiber, health and wellness sectors.
The public and industry have questions: do the political parties support an iHemp industry? Will they help us rebrand and tell our good news story to the public, showing they support low THC industrial hemp and understand the different uses of cannabis; industrial, medical and recreational?
Richard Barge, Chair of the NZ Hemp Industries Association Inc, asks “2023 is an election year – what are the political parties going to do about it? How aware are they? Do they know iHemp is the solution?”
“By removing political risk we can produce bankable business plans to scale the industry. In turn, providing resilient supply chains for food, fiber and health industries, while giving our farmers another rotational crop option and alternative land use” Barge says.
The UN protects hemp for horticultural and industrial purposes; iHemp is cannabis, but without sufficient quantities of the psychotropic cannabinoid THC to be considered a drug.
“A new horticultural industry is on the horizon, growing female plants for functional foods and the health and wellness industry. This removes the problem of pollen in traditional illicit growing areas, giving these regional economies a legitimate crop option”, Barge says.
The 500 plus chemical constituents, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, all have exciting potential. We can create great brands, with geographic indicators for the export industry, which enhance our clean green reputation and build on our fantastic story for growing great products.
“Adding value in New Zealand moves us up the value chain, from commodity to building brands and providing products that are in high demand in global niche markets. The Answer is Yes, Aotearoa New Zealand needs a new diversified industry”, says Barge.