The Revolution of Hemp
The Beginning of Hemp's Return
The hemp industry in the U.S. received a boost with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. This allowed “institutions of higher education” and state agriculture departments to grow hemp under a pilot program as long as state law permitted it. Additionally, the 2014 bill established a definition of industrial hemp, officially setting the THC threshold in the U.S. at 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
In New Zealand, hemp was first regulated for growing under Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 which allowed growers to apply for a license to grow and process hemp seed oil. No other part of the plant was available for consumption or use and was required to be destroyed. Hemp had to be tested for levels of THC to ensure if met the lower than 0.3% threshold required by law.
Hemp's Turning Point in the U.S.A.
On December 20, 2018 President Donald Trump signed into law The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – or as we know it, the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill confirmed the legalization of hemp and provisions for its cultivation, transport, and sale. Industrial hemp and its derived products are now legal on a U.S. federal level.
Hemp in New Zealand Today
Hemp in New Zealand is now widely available as a food product through the legalisation of hemp seeds for human consumption in November 2018 (yay for The Brothers Green!). The transfer of industrial hemp out of the Misuse of Drugs Act and under MPI would allow the total plant to be treated as an agricultural crop and open up the total use of the plant for the huge variety of potential uses it is capable of.
Hemp is now part of our future. Our outmost gratitude is given to the humans who have fought for hemps return by battling today's society's health and environmental issues, who have truthfully educated people about the hemp's uses and potential and ensured that information is widely known.
New Zealand Cannabis Referendum
Hemp's dark ages are nearly over, but there is still much work to be done. New Zealand's Cannabis referendum awaits us in 2020, the result of which will have far reaching implications for the future of hemp in New Zealand, and the world.
Firstly, cannabis must be regulated and legislated for. It is not enough to simply make the use of it illegal, we must place structure around the use of this plant. In New Zealand we are currently only able to utilise the hemp seed for food the rest of plant goes to waste. If the legislation passes it will enable us to utilise the plant for its endless uses including CBD; fibre (building and textiles), root (healing and medicine), and leaves (food and medicine).
The pandemic of obesity, mental health and other chronic diseases in our country can be met with natural remedies from this plant which we will only filly realise once the government eases restrictions on us.
More change must come for the full realisation of hemp’s potential to be met.
Brother Brendon spreading the power of hemp at the Christchurch Farmers Market, 2018.