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New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs


A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs.

Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) for the government to take the shackles off this burgeoning 'wellness' industry.

“We are well behind other countries in our attitude to hemp,” says NZHIA Chair, Richard Barge. “Although it is non-psychoactive, many of our current laws treat it as though it is. This report highlights just how short sighted those laws are in economic terms, and how out of step New Zealand is with the rest of the world.”

According to the report, New Zealand can grow high quality plants suitable for products sought by the natural health industry - as well as industrial products like hemp fibre. Because processing would take place close to where hemp is grown, boosting the industry will also boost regional employment.

Currently valued at US$4.6 billion, the global hemp industry is projected to grow to US$65 billion by 2030. The opportunity for New Zealand is to become a niche grower providing premium seed and cannabinoid products - as we do with wine, kiwifruit and manuka honey.

To support this, NZHIA is calling on government to introduce a scientifically based regulatory framework for the manufacture, sale, import, and export of non-medicine hemp products, and to reclassify CBD as the wellness cannabinoid that it is. “This would see a rapid upsurge in research and development,” says Barge, “benefitting the whole country.” 

According to Dr Marsh, hemp could become our fastest ever-growing export industry thanks to the vast international demand for hemp products.
“The industry is ready to go,” says Barge. “Research and development partners are engaged and the farming community is gearing up. Parallel industries - fibre, food and beverage, natural health products, and cosmetic industries – are excited about new hemp-based ingredients.

“All we need is for government to remove unwarranted regulatory barriers and red tape”

Watch the introduction video here • The Snapshot - 28 pages • The Full Report - 60 Pages

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