Recent findings by the peak body Food Standards Australia and New Zealand have confirmed that food products made on hemp seed are both perfectly safe to eat and healthy, bro. That said, you probably can’t expect to see them on Australian shelves any time soon. Politicians around the country are concerned that legalising hemp seed food will send the wrong message to impressionable young people, turning us into a nation of stock characters from stoner films.
The ABC report that, at a recent meeting of the Council of Australian Governments National Form on Food Regulation, delegates were reluctant to entertain the notion of mass-market hemp seed food. NSW Agriculture Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said that, while hemp seed food doesn’t contain enough of the active ingredient THC to get consumers all giggly, the message that “hemp is OK” will inevitably lead youngsters to the conclusion that “marijuana is okay.”
The nation’s police are also pretty down on the idea, saying that minimal amounts of THC, even if it comes from legitimate sources, will mess with the results of roadside drug tests. Police say that the swab tests used for drugs are very sensitive, and the influence of any hemp seed-based food products “burden the courts” with “people challenging false positive results.” Yikes. Just stop and imagine that horrible clusterfuck for a second.
Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, however, has adopted a What’s From The Earth Is Of The Greatest Worth platform, arguing that the government’s position is way harsh, and that chancing the laws could provide a valuable new revenue stream for farmers. At present, hemp seed can be grown for industrial but not food purposes in Australia, and many growers are upset at being denied a potentially lucrative new market.
Various hemp seed products are currently available in Australia, albeit with warning labels that say – wink wink – they are for external use only, and are not to be consumed as food.