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Rampant bureaucracy threatens to suffocate NZ hemp


Rampant bureaucracy threatens to suffocate NZ hemp

Green MP Nandor Tanczos declared today that Medsafe had no business in New Zealand’s hemp industry and that their proposed regulations threatened to suffocate a promising business opportunity for New Zealand farmers.

Nandor, whose industrial hemp private member’s bill was dropped by the Primary Production select committee in August last year, said Medsafe’s threat to the hemp industry was a case of rampant bureaucracy that would have been averted if his bill was allowed to proceed.

Medsafe are reported to have proposed charging $550 for hemp licenses, ramped up from an existing $11.25, regular THC testing of crops to cost $300 and the continued prohibition of hemp seed foods. Submissions to the regulations end next Friday, January 23.

“The high charges will impose a significant burden on hemp growers, many of whom are small-scale businesses and would be forced to exit the industry because of unreasonable compliance demands,” said Nandor.

“The continued prohibition of hemp seed foods would also deny the industry an opportunity to develop high-end products.

“I am very concerned that Medsafe have given until only next Friday to hear submissions. This is grossly unfair on the hemp industry and I shall seek a meeting with Medsafe officials to discuss the rational behind their expensive fees, overly-restrictive regulations and the inadequate timeframe for submissions.”

Nandor said that the problem arose because the Government had sacrificed a Green initiative to promote the hemp industry in order to take the credit itself.

“They should have allowed my bill to proceed. The select committee process would have given an adequate timeframe for both the industry and the general public to have a say on how hemp should be regulated.

“The committee’s refusal to hear submissions was both improper and unusual, and as a result the hemp industry is facing a substantial threat to its future.

“Medsafe has no place in regulating an agricultural crop. The aim of my bill was to take the cultivation of hemp away from the Misuse of Drugs act and place it with MAF, which is clearly the more sensible and appropriate body to monitor and nurture the industrial hemp industry.”


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