HEMP flower for sale in New Zealand
HEMP flower for sale in New Zealand
In order to grow, trade in, or process industrial hemp as an agricultural crop an individual, body
corporate, or partnership needs to be licensed under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp)
Industrial hemp or industrial hemp products cannot be supplied to any person for therapeutic
use or for the purpose of creating a therapeutic product. For more information see Growing and
producing medicinal cannabis products
Industrial hemp is varieties of Cannabis sativa that have a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content
generally below 0.35 percent. Industrial hemp varieties are controlled drugs and are listed in
Schedule 3 Part I of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
It is an offence to advertise hemp for psychoactive purposes or to supply it to unauthorised
persons. The Director-General of Health determines which varieties of Cannabis sativa can be
cultivated. For further information please consult the guidelines below or contact the Medicines
A licence is issued for a period of one year.
A general licence is $511.11 including GST. This allows for the cultivation, processing,
possession and supply of low-THC cannabis varieties approved by the Director-General of
A research and breeding licence is issued only if the applicant holds a general licence and is an
additional $153.33 including GST. It allows for the cultivation and processing of approved and
From July 2019 the following application forms are to be used to apply for a new industrial hemp
licence, or to request an amendment (including extension) to an existing industrial hemp
Medsafe will email application packs to licensees for renewal of existing licences reaching their
A1 – Application for a New Industrial Hemp Licence (General Licence), (pdf, 860 KB)
A2 – Application for a New Industrial Hemp Licence (Research & Breeding Licence), (pdf, 860
A3 – Application for Approval of a Cultivar of Industrial Hemp, (pdf, 801 KB)
B1 – Application to Amend an Industrial Hemp Licence (Location, Activities, Cultivars &
Cultivation Area), (pdf, 788 KB)
B2 – Application to Amend an Industrial Hemp Licence (Replacement of Responsible Person),
(pdf, 800 KB)
B3 – Application to Amend an Industrial Hemp Licence (Composition of Board of Directors),
(pdf, 798 KB)
B4 – Application to Amend an Industrial Hemp Licence (Extension of Licence Period), (pdf, 774
Hemp seed as food
Amended regulations to permit hemp seed to be sold as food are in force from 12 November
On 28 April 2017, trans-Tasman Ministers approved a change to the Australia New Zealand
Food Standards Code to allow the sale of hemp seed as a food for human consumption. Before
this could happen, some amendments had to be made to the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp)
Regulations 2006 and the Food Regulations 2015. The changes provide for:
consistency between the Food Standards Code to allow low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp
seed as food and the Industrial Hemp Regulations
regulations under the Food Act 2014 to declare low-THC hemp seed to be a food
greater flexibility around licensing to possess, cultivate, and trade in low-THC hemp.
To put these changes into effect, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) worked with other
agencies, including the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Customs Service.
Hemp production is highly regulated to ensure that illegal, high-THC cannabis is not produced.
Growing, possession and trade of whole seeds requires a licence from the Ministry of Health.
Public consultation on proposed changes closed on 20 June 2018.
Find out more about the consultation
Find answers to common questions about hemp seeds as food
A guide to hemp seeds as food [PDF, 511 KB]
A guide to labelling food containing hemp seeds [PDF, 652 KB]
Find out more
Industrial hemp regulations – NZ Legislation
Australia New Zealand Food Standard 1.4.4 – Prohibited and restricted plants and fungi
Read the Government's April 2017 media release – hemp seeds to be legalised as food
Growing industrial hemp – Ministry of Health website
Proposal to allow hemp seed as food – Food Standards Australia New Zealand website
How to apply for a hemp permit
In 2005 the Government approved regulations to allow the commercial cultivation of hemp
(cannabis sativa) in New Zealand. Hemp farmers must apply to the Ministry of Health for a
permit to cultivate, deal, breed, import or sell viable seed, and must pay a fee of NZ$511 per
license, but no longer need to call their crop an experiment. Licences are issued for one year. A
research and breeding licence, obtainable after the first year, allows hemp farmers to grow and
breed unapproved cultivars and register new cultivars.
Commercial hemp cultivation has so far been mainly centered in the Canterbury Plains of the
South Island, which provides the necessary sunshine, regular rainfall, good drainage, and
access to harvesting and processing infrastructure, and the Waikato and Hawkes Bay. Most
hemp is grown for its seeds, which yield a highly nutritious and valuable food oil, which is sold
throughout New Zealand, used as a base for bodycare products, and exported around the
See the following links for more information:
NZ Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health is the government body in charge of approving license applications. Read
their page first.
NZ Hemp Regulations
These regulations for commercial hemp licenses were issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act in
2006. The Ministry of Health’s press release about the hemp regulations is available here. If you
want to grow or process hemp in New Zealand, read the regulations before applying.
To apply to grow, breed or process hemp:
To apply for a licence to grow, trade in, or process industrial hemp as an agricultural crop, or if
you have any further questions contact the Controlled Drugs Advisor for Medicines Control:
phone 04 816 2018
Guidelines for applicants (pdf, 65kb)
Guidelines for testing hemp crop samples (pdf, 29kb)
Approved cultivars of industrial hemp in New Zealand (pdf, 112kb)
The NZ Food Safety Authority
Hempseed foods are banned in NZ and Australia, bizarrely due to them being “too healthy”!
Apparently the Governments of Australia and New Zealand want people to hear only bad news
about cannabis, so they banned hempfoods for human consumption, even though health
officials said hemp foods would help reduce disease and create a healthier, longer-living
New Zealand allowed itself an exception for hemp seed oil, and food products containing hemp
seed oil, while the seeds can still be used or exported for animal feed or other purposes.
The ban on hemp foods has been under review for several years. Objections to allowing hemp
foods now seem to be based around a “risk” that consumers of hemp foods could test positive
for THC in workplace or roadside drug tests. However, our Ministry of Agriculture – after
consulting the Ministries of Health & Justice and the Police – has said that is unlikely to ever
happen and that hemp has “the potential for positive economic benefits from permitting low THC
hemp-seed foods in New Zealand both in terms of the nutritive value of hemp seed products,
and the suitable growing conditions in New Zealand.”
The NZ Hemp Industries Association
NZHIA has more information and would-be hemp farmers should seriously consider joining.
Existing commercial hemp businesses
Commercial hemp farmers include Oil Seed Extractors (Canterbury), The Hemp
Farm (Waikato) and Hemp Technologies NZ (Taranaki). Other NZ hemp businesses
include Hemptech and The Hempstore, both in Auckland.