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Industrial hemp may still be planted in spring

27 March 2001 Media Statement

Trial plots of industrial hemp may still be planted in spring

Health Minister Annette King says planting of trial plots of industrial hemp could still proceed in spring, even though she did not receive recommendations as expected last Friday on criteria and licensing requirements.

Mrs King said the Interagency Working Group, with representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, NZ Customs Service, NZ Police, Te Puni Kokiri, Environmental Science and Research Ltd, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Hemp Industries Association, had met as planned on Friday.

"The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry representatives told the group that the Import Health Standard for cannabis seed will now not be finalised until mid-June.

"ESR also has some work to do still on finalising sampling and testing guidelines. It is expected this will be completed in the next few weeks, and it is also expected trialists will have to pay the costs of sampling and testing."

Mrs King said the working group had told her recommendations could be made to her within a few weeks, and if she agreed to the regulatory framework, planting could still begin in spring provided the Health Import Standard was finalised on schedule.

ENDS

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