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The Hempstore files papers against Customs Service

The hemp store aotearoa Windsor House, 60 Queen Street. Email: chris@hempstore.co.nz

1 July 2003

The Hempstore files papers against Customs Service

The Hempstore Aotearoa today filed papers in the Manukau District Court against the New Zealand Customs Service following their refusal to release a shipment of imported hemp products.

The Hempstore had received Customs clearance for previous shipments of identical products. The shipment included hemp tea and "Knaster" hemp smoking blend imported from Germany.

"We are challenging the Customs Service's inconsistent and over-zealous application of the rules. We have been totally upfront that we have been importing hemp products and have proof that the THC level is minute," said spokesperson Chris Fowlie.

"The hemp tea was tested in Germany as being 0.0047 percent, well below the usual 0.35% level for hemp, so even a tonne of the stuff would not have any effect."

"Customs officers told us ESR had identified the teas and smoking blend only as containing cannabis. The fact is, all hemp is made from cannabis but it's not the kind that will get anyone high."

"This action by Customs potentially jeopardises the entire New Zealand hemp industry, because if it was applied to any other hemp product, they would all be illegal as all hemp contains some tiny trace amount of THC.

"We have decided to test this arbitrary and inconsistent decision in court. Our solicitors Linda Fulton and Marie Dyhrberg filed papers in the Manukau District Court today for an order to disallow the notice of seizure issued by the Customs Service."

ENDS

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