Hemp pop-up hits high note in Auckland

New Zealand's first hemp pop-up restaurant has sold out on its opening night in Auckland on Thursday evening. 

Its creator, Cameron Sims, wants to educate people about the health benefits of the cannabis plant - which, unlike its cousin marijuana, won't make you high. That's because hemp contains hardly any psychoactive substances.

"Most people think that all cannabis gets you high, but only some cannabis gets you high. There's thousands of varieties," Mr Sims told Newshub.

He's opened the Plant Culture pop-up at Atomic Coffee in Kingsland for four evenings. 

"Everything is hemp flavoured," he said.

Hemp seeds aren't yet legal for human consumption in New Zealand, but a law change is in the process. 

However, hemp seed oil is legal - and that's what Mr Sims is using to flavour his food. He's even taking inspiration from a celebrity chef. 

"Jamie Oliver uses hemp seed oil on top of his ice-cream as a garnish, it's really nutty and subtle."

Mr Sims is also serving hemp ice-cream at the restaurant, as part of a four-course set menu. 

"It tastes similar to a pinenut, like a green pinenut," he says of hemp. 

The plant is already used globally to make products like clothing and shampoo. 

It contains several key health benefits, such as being high in protein and omega three. Mr Sims sees it as the environmentally sustainable food of the future. 

"It only takes three months to grow, so it can turn around really quick," he said. 

Mr Sims is hoping to encourage hemp sceptics to come along to Plant Culture and give his food a try. It's open until Sunday evening, with tickets available for $80 a head.