An application has been lodged with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) to alter the Australian food code to allow for the use and sale of low-THC hemp leaf, seed sprouts and roots for human consumption.

The application was lodged by cannabis law reformer Andrew Kavasilas, who joined forces with Hemp Fields, an industrial hemp producer which operates a low-THC cannabis (hemp) research and development facility in Australia.

Andrew Kavasilas

Kavasilas said if the application is approved, it will allow Australia to meet internationally accepted standards, opening up new markets for producers of industrial hemp. 

He added: “Australian farmers need the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to the various uses of hemp. I’m encouraging state governments to support this application straight away and let’s not waste another decade like the hemp seed food application.”

“This isn’t like hemp seed production, Australian producers can be market ready for domestic and international trade within months, we just need Australian food regulators to make the necessary approvals.”

Hemp Fields manager director and Australian
Industrial Hemp Alliance (AIHA) executive
board member Arthus Wajs

Hemp Fields manager director and Australian Industrial Hemp Alliance (AIHA) executive board member Arthus Wajs said he believes Australia will see an industry drive to fund and fast-track the path to FSANZ assessment in regards to the application. 

“Australian hemp farmers need the ability to capitalise on this commercial opportunity, especially when hemp foods demonstrate outstanding nutritional and health benefits. 

“The farmers have an environmental responsibility to utilise all parts of the hemp plant. The economic impact of whole-plant utilisation will lead to job creation in rural areas, exponentially increasing the value of the hemp food industry in Australia.”

The full application is available on the FSANZ website.

Hannah Adler

Hannah is a communications professional and early-career researcher in the disciplines of health communication and health sociology. She is a PhD student at Griffith University currently writing a...