The $2B “Green rush” of New Zealand Hemp
New Zealand Hemp is currently worth about $30 million dollars. In 10 years, New Zeland hemp could be worth as much as $2 billion dollars.
A new report by the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) has projected over a 10x growth. The report compiled by Dr. Nick Marsh of Next Corporation projects growth because of strong export and international demand. The study outlines profits in Hemp health, food and fibre markets leading into 2030. American hemp is already booming, expected to grwo from 4.6 billion to 64.8 billion in the next ten years.
Who hemp can Help
Much of NZ hemp boom would benefit rural communities, specifically Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Wellington and the Midlands. Globally, the cannabinoid CBD is driving demand. Job growth is projected to be between 5,000 and 20,000 depending on regulatory reform.
“So you’re moving up that spectrum from food, going to functional foods, natural health products, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and then you get into that medicinal environment. And at the moment what we’ve got is regulations that allowed the medicinal use of cannabis but it’s therefore then limited to that one medicinal use. Whereas the wellness industry covers a lot of other uses; it could be topicals or balms that help with skin conditions or it could be all the way through to just having a really healthy diet and supplementing those with some of these natural health products that would be using the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids contained in the industrial hemp plant.”NZHIA chair Richard Barge to Newhub
A misconception about hemp, is that there’s a difference in classification from cannabis, that induces intoxication. From a taxological sense, hemp, or Cannabis sativa, isn’t that much different from what many of us would consider traditional cannabis, or Cannabis indica. Cannabis indica is broad-leafed and known for producing more THCA (the precursor to THC), which, when decarboxylated (heated up), turns into THC. Hemp contains very little THC.
Roadblocks to Hemp
Public ignorance and regulatory roadblocks are the two major factors limiting hemp growth in New Zealand. Dated regulatory restrictions have slowed New Zealand’s hemp growth. Updated regulations will aid CBD production, making hemp industries can become more bankable and profitable.
This study illustrates the opportunities of hemp. It’s clear New Zealand could become a global leader in valuable cash crop, if social and government views can be modernised.