Hemp seeds fresh on the menu

The sale of hemp seeds as food became legal today.

Head of New Zealand Food Safety Bryan Wilson says there has been wide support for changes to introduce hemp seeds into the food supply.

"Hemp seeds are safe to eat and nutritious.  They don't produce a psychoactive or therapeutic effect."

However, the production of hemp continues to be regulated to ensure illegal high-THC cannabis is not produced.

While hemp flowers and leaves are not permitted, Wilson says "growing, possession and trade of whole seeds requires a licence from the Ministry of Health".

Two new guides have been produced to support the new hemp seed industry: A guide to hemp seeds as food and A guide to labelling food containing hemp seeds.