New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a recall notice for Higher Living Green Tea Hemp after it emerged the imported product, made by House of Fine Foods in the UK, used hemp leaves instead of seeds and exceeded the levels of CBD and THC allowed in NZ food products.

Stuff.co.nz said supermarkets are removing all batches.

Last month, supermarket chain Countdown was forced to pull Higher Living Organic Hemp Tea from its shelves after 1 NEWS revealed the product breached several regulations including featuring a cannabis plant on its label.

In 2017 changes were made to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code allowing the sale of hemp seed and hemp seed products, but not the use of cannabis leaves.

The ministry said the product was sold at Countdown stores nationally, New World Hutt City, and possibly some smaller retailers.

A Countdown spokesperson said there had been some confusion around which products came from hemp leaves, which are allowed in New Zealand. She said the company would review how the confusion happened and seek further advice from the ministry to avoid a repeat.

The ministry said while there were no reports of illness associated with drinking the tea, it advised customers not to drink it, seek medical advice if they had concerns and return the product to their retailer for a full refund.

Stuff.co.nz has approached House of Fine Foods for comment.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...