Hemp products approved for consumption in Australia, NZ

Federal and state ministers in Australia and New Zealand have approved low-THC hempseeds for human consumption, opening a new market for edible products using the plant.

Prior to the decision, hemp was part of a classification that prohibited all species of cannabis from being added to food, or sold as food, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The law is expected to go into effect in both countries in about six months.

Health food stores that have already been selling hemp-based products, including lotions, will be now be able to add hemp-based food products to their shelves, the Morning Herald reported.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand approved the move and found that hempseeds were a good source of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, according to the Morning Herald.

One hurdle was concerns over roadside drug testing. But after a study found it unlikely that consumption of low-THC hemp would result in positive drug tests, that issue was resolved.

Industrial hemp typically has THC levels of 0.03% or lower.