New Zealand


Hemp cookies to hit market as NZ legalises sale of seeds as food

Hemp growers and food producers are celebrating news hemp seed can be sold for food.  The Government announced on Tuesday that hemp seed would be treated as just another edible seed.  Hemp is currently grown under permit and is used for fibre and hemp seed oil. 

From Monday, the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 and the Food Regulations 2015 will be amended to allow the sale of hemp seed as food. Hemp flowers and leaves will not be permitted.

West Coast farmers Sarah Gibson and Aaron Silcock grow hemp on their Reefton dairy farm.  This year will be the couple's second season growing hemp to sell for animal food. 


New Zealand City has 10 synthetic cannabis overdoses in 48 hours

Christchurch has seen a spike in people consuming and being harmed by a synthetic drug known as AB.

The New Zealand city of  Christchurch has seen at least 10 synthetic cannabis overdoses in the last two days, according to media reports. Hospital officials report the victims were stricken separately and had come from different areas of the city. Christchurch is New Zealand’s third largest city with a population of about 370,000 and is located on the country’s South Island.


New Zealand awards first-ever medical cannabis growing license

Hikurangi Cannabis crowdfunded $1.8 million in small investments from 1,500 local residents who hope to benefit from the cannabis industry.

The island nation of New Zealand has never taken a very kind approach to marijuana, as evidenced by the military-supported drug raids New Zealand law enforcement agencies conduct every year over the country’s vast hinterlands. Under the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act, possessing any amount of cannabis for any reason is illegal. There have been attempts to decriminalize it and even efforts to legalize medical marijuana. But all have failed to end the blanket prohibition on New Zealand weed.


Lake Hawea hemp grower promotes industrial uses of cannabis plant

A Lake Hawea man is promoting the farming of the "industrial hemp" version of the cannabis plant.

T.J. Irvin is well known in the Upper Clutha for his "slammer tool", used for digging, but is now turning some of his attention to growing cannabis.

"It is time we grew up and started looking at it as a crop that can be farmed for profit — building materials, food, medicine."

He has organised an information session to be held at Lake Hawea on September 5, but is making clear the cannabis he is talking about is not the "recreational" variety but one of 12 cultivars approved by the Ministry of Health.

Mr Irvin has a licence to grow industrial hemp and will be sowing 1ha of land on the West Coast this spring.


New Zealand sees spike in synthetic marijuana-caused deaths

Synthetic cannabis seems to be a public health problem everywhere.

The coroner’s office in New Zealand has seen a spike in deaths caused by synthetic marijuana, according to local media. In the past year, the island nation has seen 40-45 deaths of people who had used synthetic marijuana. There was only one death from the illicit substance in the previous five years.

St. John Ambulance reported that it receives approximately 30 calls per week to help people suffering from ill effects of the drug.


'The law sucks, they're just making criminals out of patients,' says New Zealand cannabis activist

Last December, the New Zealand government introduced legislation that allows patients with terminal illnesses to legally grow and use their own cannabis, writes James McClure.


This hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions

Combining social justice and medical marijuana, this hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions.

People with marijuana convictions on their record often have a difficult time finding gainful employment. Sure, a number of states have legalized marijuana.

But pot offenders are often treated like pariahs when looking for work. It is for this reason that one hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions.

The goal is to put their felonious talents to work in the legitimate medical marijuana industry.


New Zealand's Hikurangi Cannabis signs $160mn, multi-tonne deal to supply USA's Rhizo Sciences

Hikurangi Cannabis signs $160mn, multi-tonne deal to supply USA’s Rhizo Sciences

New Zealand pharmaceutical cannabis firm Hikurangi Cannabis has agreed to produce and export tonnes of medical cannabis to American company Rhizo Sciences.

Based in Ruatoria, Hikurangi will produce three tonnes next year, rising to 12 tonnes a year by 2021. Currently, it has a crop of around 5,000 plants.

Rhizo Sciences works with licensed processors and investors to develop large scale production and export facilities to supply the growing demand for medical cannabis.


New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis

New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis if this bill passes.

With a proposed bill, the government of New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis. The amendment to the country’s Psychoactive Substances Act that is up for debate would quadruple maximum prison sentences for suppliers of the drug from two to eight years.

The Proposed Bill

The bill was introduced by Member of Parliament (MP) Simeon Brown of the New Zealand National Party (known as National), which has been campaigning on a law and order platform.


New Zealand: What would medical marijuana do to the health system?

In this summer podcast series, Newstalk ZB and the New Zealand Herald's Go to Health podcast tackles a different health issue each week. Today, it's whether our health system can handle medicinal marijuana, and whether we should stop there. Hosted by Frances Cook.

It doesn't take a genius to realise our current approach to drug use is … flawed.

Synthetic cannabis is a growing problem, with users often left a drooling mess, and rolling the dice that homemade concoctions may actually kill them.

Meth use also doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast, with the expensive habit often sucking addicts into criminal activity in order to keep the drugs coming.


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