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Cabinet approves a public consultation to raise awareness on hemp seeds

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 22/10/2019

Cabinet has approved a request from Tonga Medicinal Group to carry out public consultation on hemp seeds.

The aim of the public consultations is to raise awareness on hemp seeds and its medicinal benefits. The Medicinal hemp project is looking to amend the current “Illicit Drugs Control Act”, followed by the legislation of a new Hemp Act. The Act would require the removal of Industrial Hemp from Controlled Substances Act section. Industrial Hemp is defined as “hemp as Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers”, with no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of TH.” Any cannabis derivative that contains more than 0.3 percent THC falls outside the scope of the new law.

The project also looks to establish open trade (export) agreement between Tonga and the United States, Canada, and The United Kingdom, Transparent professional relationship with key Tonga government officials and ministries, and the creation of a new drug testing facility in Tonga to analyze CBD extract prior to export.

Now with the group being given approval from cabinet, they will continue collaboration with Sione Filipe Jr, and Siosiua Sekona to discuss this issue with the public. The group believes that this initiative would bring in economic benefits to the country and help in the country’s development.

However, before the consultations have even begun the issue has already faced opposition from many in the public including on social media as well as a doctor in this field.

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