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Licensing Of Trial Plots Of Industrial Hemp

Health Minister Annette King says she expects to receive recommendations by the end of this week on criteria and licensing requirements for trial plots of industrial hemp.

Mrs King said an Interagency Working Group had been working on the issues for the past year. The group contained representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, NZ Customs Service, NZ Police, Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Hemp Industries Association of New Zealand.

"I understand the group has made very good progress toward a sensible regime for enabling trial cultivation of industrial hemp to proceed in New Zealand.

"There has always been pressure from the hemp sector and its supporters to make decisions on hemp cultivation quickly," Mrs King said. "But comments made in the media this week will not force either the working group or the Government into a hasty decision that is not widely accepted by all agencies on the working group."

Mrs King said she would consider the group's recommendations as quickly as possible.

Ends

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