Hemp comes in from the cold: Once-banned crop catching on with farmers

By October 1, 2020 Recent News

NZ Herald 2 October 2020
More and more New Zealand farmers are planting a crop that they were banned from growing for eight decades or so.

They are setting aside land to raise hemp, for use in cereals, oils and textiles.

It’s still very much in its infancy, but for some, hemp is seen as a useful crop to offer diversity on the farm.

As big money flows into medicinal cannabis, and with the upcoming referendum on recreational cannabis use, hemp’s profile is rising — even though it is far removed from the narcotic strain that gets all the attention.

Proponents wax lyrical about hemp’s many uses — everything from hemp oil for joint health through to “hempcrete” for construction. To its backers, hemp really is the miracle plant.

They say the plant can also offer benefits to the landowner, through its ability to lock up carbon.

Research into growing hemp in New Zealand started in 2006, and the regulations covering the crop were amended at the end of 2018.

In that time an industry has built up, particularly around hempseed and oil.
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