Hemptastic – growers and farmers

Hemp farmers must have a licence form the Ministry of Health.  Two licences are available General licence $511.11 and a Research and Breeding licence for an additional $153.33 including GST.

If you are considering growing you should go the to Ministry of Health website – Key word industrial hemp  

Your next step will be to source seeds, the NZHIA can put you in touch with seed sources www.nzhia.com

Growing economics, with the revenue streams form all the parts of the plant, there are significant returns for the farmer.  It is early days and the industry is only just starting to develop and create a demand, but in time good gross profits will be available to farmers and value added opportunities for regional New Zealand will create business and employment outcomes.

Growing for phytoremdiation, hemp can be grown in polluted soils and has shown to be effective at lifting heavy metals form the soil, cleaning the land for future productive use.  The long tap root and extensive root system breaks up and aerates compacted soils as it searches for the water table penetrating up to a meter deep.


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Hemptastic – Paper


China the worlds first paper maker, used hemp to make paper 2,000 years go and until 1883 the majority of paper was made from hemp, producing books, bibles, maps, paper money, stocks, bonds, newspaper etc.

The 15th century Gutenburg Bible was printed on hemp paper.  The first and second draft of the US Declaration of Independence was written on dutch hemp paper, prior to it being copied to a parchment (animal skin) prior to it being signed.

Hemp rag paper (recycling hemp clothing and rags) was used to produce paper that nearly never wears out, making it the go to paper for archival documents

When hemp replaces some of the wood pulp, we can reduce the paper making chemicals needed by 60-80%.  The paper is stronger, acid free and can be recycled up to 10 times.

This must be a good thing for our rivers and the economics of running a pulp and paper mill.

Hemp stalk produces both long and short bast fibres and hurds with a high cellulose content,  which can be used to make paper and reinforce recycled paper production, the production process uses less water as hemp is highly absorbent

Hemp as a paper maker was discused in USDA Bulletin No. 404, October 1916, Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material, Lyster H Dewey and Jason L Merrill

BULLETIN 404 – Download PDF (2MB)

“Hemp produces an average of 1,000 pounds/acre of fibre and the hurds are about 5 times that of fibre so an average of 2.5 tones of hurd per acre is a fair average” and that was in 1916.

The woody inner portion of the hemp stalk, broken into pieces and separated from the fiber in the processes of breaking and scutching, is called hemp hurds. These hurds correspond to shives in flax, but are much coarser and are usually softer in texture.

The often quoted fact attributed to bulletin 404 is found on page 24 “Every tract of 10,000 acres which is devoted to hemp raising year by year is equivalent to a sustained pulp-producing capacity of 40,500 acres of average pulp-wood lands”

The quote – hemp can therefore produce 4 times as much pulp as trees.

Yes this will save trees, but there are other considerations, such as hemp is an annual crop, so needs to be stored in large quantities so it is ready to be called by the pulp mill.  It is quite bulky so transport costs may increase.  

Hemp can be part of a paper strategy in conjunction with using other agricultural sources of fibers including various trees and shrubs for the manufacture of various grades of paper.

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Hemptastic -Medicine

Time for a paradigm shift, we need a grown up debate about natural plant based medicines,  an evaluation of the facts will show that medical plants can help heal many of the ills facing our modern society, especially anxiety and depression.

In combination with diet, exercise and mindfullness we can better equip our bodies to overcome many health issues.

Medical marijuana has a role to play in modern medicine.  The more we understand about the cannobiniods in hemp and the effect they have on the endocannabiniod system in all humans is critical if we are going to realise the benefits in a huge range of medical conditions.

In the past hemp was used widely as a medicine and it is only in recent times that modern research is catching up and identifying how closely our bodies are in tune with the cannanbiniods, terpenes and flavonoids found in cannabis.

Work in this area has been suppressed for many years, but we are quickly catching up due to the passion of people who are getting beneficial effects from using medical cannabis.

This is a very safe medicine with no safety issues as there is no chance of overdosing and many people find that once they are using whole plant extracts as a source for cannabiniod based medicines they can reduce or stop other chemical pills which they are taking.


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Hemptastic – Food

Hemp seeds are a super food and can be brought as oil or as dehulled, hemp hearts.

The seed can be cold pressed in to oil, with a low saturated fat (8% of total oil volume) The oil contains 55% linoleic Acid (LA – Omega 6) and 25% linolenic acid (LNA – Omega 3) only Flax has more LNA at 58% but hemp seed has the highest total essential fatty acids at 80% of total oil volume.

The by product of oil pressing is a high quality protein seed cake, which is unique as 65% of the protein is in the form of globulin edestin plus the albumin contained in all seeds, the protein contains all the essential amino acids in ideal proportions to build a strong immune system.

It can be sprouted, ground and baked, made in to milk, icecream and many other edible products.  It is one of the finest complete and available to the body vegetable proteins available.  

It is a complete food source, suitable for domestic and farmed animals.

In time we will see sacks of hemp seed being delivered to communities in need following man made and natural disasters.  It is in its own perfect container (as a seed) for transport and will sustain human life. Hemp seed should be grown widely to solve world hunger.

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Hemp Food – issue with FSANZ Food Ministers

Hemp foods for human consumption has been an issue since 1998, when application “A360 – Hemp as a Novel Food” was first submitted to the Australia New Zealand Food Safety Ministers.

In 2000 New Zealand food policy was taken over by a joint approach with Australia, they get 8 votes as states and territories plus one for the federal government, so they get 9 votes and New Zealand gets one vote.

A360 was submitted by Phil Warner at Eco Fibre, after four years of stakeholder consultation it was first voted (or ignored) in December 2002 when it was unanimously rejected, it was reconsidered in 2005 but this also resulted in a no vote.

Another application “A1039 Low THC hemp seed foods” was received by Food Safety Australia and New Zealand in December 2009, another 4 years of stakeholder consultation followed and this application was finally rejected in Jan 2015.

The officials working at the food ministries in Australia and New Zealand have produced some excellent documents and have always recommended to the Food Ministers that the food is safe and should be allowed for human consumption.

However the Food minsters continue to vote no, recently our Food Minister Hon Jo Goodhew has become supportive of access to hemp Foods, and has instructed the ministry to overcome the four issues which are of concern

These four issues have been brought up in every official communique, since the first no vote in 2002

The main problems are the Victorian state police preoccupation with road side swab testing for driving while under the influences of cannabis.  These swab tests are banned in New Zealand as they are not reliable. Either way there is no way that minute traces of thc in hemp foods would trigger a positive reading.

The other main issue is “sending mixed messages to the youth on the Safety of cannabis” this relates to labeling as they don’t want to see the leaf being used to advise hemp foods.  

This energy drink has been sold in New Zealand for around 10 years, with a huge leaf on it, it contains no hemp and is simply trading on the image of the leaf, in this time Food Safety nor Medicines Control have stopped the sale of this drink which used to be found in nearly every corner dairy in the country.

Worldwide food manufactures have not used the leaf as they do want the stigma of the marijuana leaf to put off there customers.

Despite the ban on hemp seed as a human food, the magic of labeling has allowed hulled hemp seed, (the heart/meal in the seed)  to be sold in Australia and New Zealand as an animal food.  

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