First legal crop of edible hemp goes to harvest

These Gen Z men want to get hemp into the hands of as many Australians as possible.

Nathan McNiece, 23, and Tim Crow, 24, conducted their own research into more sustainable food products. They realised that hemp seeds were high in protein, prompting them to map out a business plan for a food business, and then they waited for legislative change.

New laws

That day came in November, when new laws allowing hemp to be grown as food were introduced, and the pair was able to give the nod to northern Tasmanian farmers they had already lined up to start planting the first food-grade crops.

Hemp grown for food doesn’t contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC. Only low THC varieties of hemp seeds can be legally used for food. The new legislation also includes regulations relating to labelling and advertising of hemp food products.

While hemp has been grown legally in Tasmania since the 1990s, until now, a ban on human consumption has stifled the industry’s growth.

The pair, who began talks with Tasmanian farmers about their hemp crop plans in 2015, admit their respective families were sceptical about the business to begin with, but have since come on board.

“Hemp is truly one of the most nutritionally abundant food sources on the planet. Health virtues aside, the hemp plant also represents a new and viable industry for Australian farmers. It’s true iron man food,” McNiece says. Read more

Nina Hendy – Brisbane Times – 11 Mar 2018