Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) yesterday gave its green light to plans to legalise foods made from industrial hemp seeds.
That will mean New Zealanders will be able to have everyday foods like breakfast cereals, pesto sauce, desserts, smoothies and more with the potential to have hemp seeds added to them.
Hemp seeds contain 'protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids'
Andrew Katelaris, a Newcastle doctor deregistered in 2005 for providing unwell children medicinal cannabis, said he welcomed the move.
'It’s essential for children... It’s the most nutritionally dense and balanced food on the planet.'
In terms of the foods that could be made with hemp,'your imagination's the limit', he said.
In March this year food regulation ministers asked the FSANZ to prepare a proposal on how low THC hemp could be 'legally designated as food'.
If a decision to allow hemp seed sale for food is made, ministers would likely be notified in late 2016, the FSANZ said in a statement.
It also pointed out that hemp has 'no, or very low levels of THC'.
Historically, hemp has been used as a source of fibre and oil and Cannabis extracts have been used in medicine for a variety of ailments, it said.
FSANZ has asked for submissions on whether to permit the sale of food cooked with the seeds.
According to FSANZ, at present the seeds or other parts of the hemp plant cannot be used as food or as an ingredient in Australia and New Zealand, however, hemp seed oil has been permitted for sale as a food in New Zealand since 2002.