The Queensland, Australia government has introduced legislation to amend the Drugs Misuse Act of 1986 to allow the cultivation of hemp seeds for human consumption. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the reforms “would provide investment and trade opportunities for Queensland producers.”
“By allowing industrial cannabis seed to be grown for human consumption, there are opportunities for producers to supply low THC hemp seeds to domestic and international markets,” he said in a press release. “This emerging market will enable the Queensland producers to compete at a global level and has the opportunity to create growth and employment in this industry.”
The legislation follows an April decision by the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation to allow the seeds to be sold as food, but the decision needs to be codified by an amendment to the Drugs Misuse Act.
Australian Health and Services Minister Cameron Dick said the legislation would also “continue restricting the growth of cannabis to licensed producers … [and] provide more robust requirements for monitoring cannabis growers” to ensure “high-quality seed is made available to the public.”
The plan would see products for human consumption derived from hemp available in Queensland no later than mid-November.