The removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers and red tape could see New Zealand’s hemp industry worth billions in just 10 years.
A newly released report authored by Dr. Nick Marsh (Strategic Analyst, Next Corporation) and published by the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) indicates if the brakes were taken off the country’s industrial hemp industry, it could generate $2 billion in revenue for New Zealand by 2030 and create tens of thousands of new jobs.
Grower groups have farmed between 1,200 – 1,500 hectares of hemp in the 2019-20 season – and hectares under cultivation could be hugely boosted with the right policies and regulatory settings.
The report outlines 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1 sees the status quo remain, with a failure to reform current regulations. This would see a seed and fibre product market estimated at $500 million with around 5,000 new jobs by 2030.
Scenario 2 sees political reform on nutraceutical regulations and forecasts total earnings of $2.0 billion by 2030. This is comprised of $183 million in seed products, $317 million in fibre products and $1.5 billion in hemp nutraceuticals containing cannabinoids. Under scenario 2, 20,000 new jobs are created.
Cultivation of hemp is permitted in New Zealand for the production of hemp seed oil (not to be confused with cannabis oil), hemp seeds and fibre. However, products containing CBD (cannabidiol) are prohibited unless classified as medicines and prescribed by a doctor. This puts nutraceuticals out into the cold. A nutraceutical or ‘bioceutical’ refers to a product that is a pharmaceutical alternative claiming wellness benefits and doesn’t require a prescription.
“We are well behind other countries in our attitude to hemp,” said NZHIA Chair, Richard Barge. “Although it is non-psychoactive, many of our current laws treat it as though it is. This report highlights just how short sighted those laws are in economic terms, and how out of step New Zealand is with the rest of the world.”
The Association is calling on New Zealand’s government to implement a scientifically based regulatory framework for the manufacture, sale, import, and export of non-medicine hemp products, and to reclassify CBD as a “wellness” cannabinoid.
“The industry is ready to go,” said Mr. Barge. “All we need is for government to remove unwarranted regulatory barriers and red tape.”