Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is one of the oldest food, fibre, and medicinal plants known to humankind. Research demonstrates that industrial hemp could facilitate New Zealand’s transition toward more sustainable agriculture because of its capabilities for carbon sequestration, environmental regeneration, phytoremediation, and the development of sustainable products.
But despite this potential, New Zealand’s industrial hemp industry is currently small, fragmented, and constrained. This dissertation critically analyses the constraints to industry development and the ways the industry can move forward.
The topic of this dissertation is three-fold:
1) to understand people’s motivations to be involved within the hemp industry;
2) to evaluate the constraints on the industry; and
3) to understand how the industry can best move forward.
Key informant interviews with diverse stakeholders within the industry informed the discussions and conclusions. This research project produced a number of key findings for each research question.
Firstly, the majority of people involved in New Zealand’s hemp industry are intrinsically and individually motivated due to personal passions for sustainability. Secondly, several major constraints to the industry exist including: stigma and corresponding regulations, lack of funding, physical infrastructure and governmental support; and lack of clarity within the industry regarding accessing information and the industry’s niche and scale.
Thirdly, moving forward several factors were discussed: it is suggested that the stigma is dismantled through political and social mechanisms; the industry decide on its niche and operational scale; and that an overarching social infrastructure is developed to provide clarity, collaboration and international competitiveness for the industry.
Overall, an overarching social infrastructure could advance the New Zealand’s hemp industry and the industry could harness existing passions for sustainability, creativity, and innovation at the core of its internationally competitive identity.
This is the first qualitative research study on New Zealand’s industrial hemp industry.
Ultimately, this dissertation hopes to emphasize the potential of the industrial hemp industry for the future sustainability of New Zealand, and to provide clarity regarding the constraints and future directions for the industry.
Brownlee, P. J. (2019). New Zealand’s Industrial Hemp Industry: Motivations, Constraints, and Moving Forward (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9333
Permanent link to OUR Archive version: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9333