The Queensland Government has this week introduced legislation to enable low-THC (Tetrahydrocannabino) hemp seeds to be grown for human consumption in food in the State.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in late April gave the green light for low-THC hemp (cannabis) seeds to be sold as food in Australia and New Zealand from Sunday 12 November.
“The Drugs Misuse Act 1986 currently prohibits the primary production of industrial cannabis to produce low-THC hemp for food in Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“Today, we introduced the necessary legislation to enable low THC hemp seeds to be grown for human consumption in food in this State, following the Ministerial Forum’s decision earlier this year.
“Cannabis can now be grown in Queensland under strict supervision for medicinal purposes.
“Hemp seeds permitted for use in foods come from the cannabis plant but they have extremely low levels or no Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is the drug component of cannabis that causes psychoactive effects.
“The new legislation also proposes to continue restricting the growth of cannabis to licensed producers and ensures a high-quality of seed is made available to the public.
“It will also provide more robust requirements for monitoring cannabis growers.”
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the Queensland Government was working towards giving Queensland’s small industrial cannabis industry the ability to diversify into food production.
“The amendments to the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 would provide investment and trade opportunities for Queensland producers,” Mr Byrne said.
“By allowing industrial cannabis seed to be grown for human consumption, there are opportunities for producers to supply low THC hemp seeds to domestic and international markets.
“This emerging market will enable the Queensland producers to compete at a global level and has the opportunity to create growth and employment in this industry.”
The Hospital Foundations Bill 2017 introduced into State Parliament today included amendments to the Drugs Misuse Act 1986.
Hemp seeds are known to contain protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Low-THC varieties of cannabis plants are currently permitted to produce industrial cannabis fibre.
Source: Qld Govt