The ambiguity of Hemp vs. Marijuana has the New Zealand government keeping a tight rein on hemp regulations, but a North Island farmer says the restrictions are hindering growth in the industry.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Tom Welch is a dairy farmer in the Rangitikei district of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of New Zealand. He is expanding his farm to include an industrial hemp crop, but he says the laws prohibiting roadside visibility of the plant are having a detrimental effect on the industry.

The restrictions are a result of the lack of awareness about the difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are both species of the cannabis sativa plant and they both contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient. However, while marijuana has a THC level of 20 percent, hemp contains less than 1 percent.

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