Hemp seeds to be legalised as a food

Hemp seeds to be legalised as a food

An agreement has been reached to allow hemp seeds to be legalised as a food, Food Safety Minister David Bennett has announced.

The deal made between the New Zealand and Australian food safety authorities means it has been approved to sell safe levels of low-THC hemp seed as a food.

Mr Bennett says he is pleased with the approval and they won't carry any negative effects.

"Low THC-hemp seed is nutritious, safe to eat and will add to the New Zealand economy," he says.

"Hemp seeds have a growing global market currently worth around $1 billion. It is estimated it will initially generate between $10 million and $20 million in export revenue and create about 20 jobs."

However before the changes can take effect in New Zealand, changes must be to three acts, the Food Act, Misuse of Drugs Act and the Medicines Act so no one who buys the "food" won't face criminal action.

The changes are estimated to take up to 18 months.