New Zealand’s Inaugural Hemp Ideation Challenge

Hemp Ideation Challenge - New Zealand
Hemp Ideation Challenge - New Zealand

New Zealand’s first ever ‘Hemp Ideation Challenge’ will kick off on September 5, an event designed to help drive the country’s hemp industry forward.

The initiative, which runs to the 18th of September, will use a “challenge-driven innovation process” to accelerate development of new hemp products, discover new uses for the plant and identify innovative ways to produce, process and manufacture it.

“The purpose of this challenge is to bring together researchers, students, industry and hemp businesspeople across all sectors to innovate and ideate about how hemp might be incorporated into existing and new products,” says the NZ Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA), which is coordinating the event in partnership with Christchurch NZ and Webtools. ChristchurchNZ is the city’s sustainable economic development and city profile agency, funded by Christchurch City Council and other sponsors and partners.

NZHIA says using PlanBox innovation and ideation software will speed the time from ideation to delivery.

“Typically this “innovation as a service” is costly and challenging to facilitate,” says NZHIA. “This is an opportunity to observe sophisticated software and process at work and understand how you might incorporate the resulting ideas into your business.”

You can learn more about the Hemp Ideation Challenge here.

The NZ Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) is a non profit society that was registered way back in 1997. It’s been pretty quiet of late and the announcement of the Challenge was the first published news from the Association for some months.

New Zealand’s hemp industry, much like in Australia, is still in its nascent phase and battling some of the same residual prejudices of the plant’s association with marijuana, particularly on a regulatory front.

In order to grow, trade in, or process industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in New Zealand, a party must be licensed under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006. It’s a curious name for the regulations given hemp has zero recreational value.

To grow hemp for commercial use in NZ, approved cultivars must be used and allowable limits of THC (given as a % of the dry weight of the plant) are generally below 0.35% and not more than 0.50%.

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