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Hemp drink under attack

Posted on April 15, 2004

Editors note: Taking this product off the shelves is a victory for the New Zealand hemp industry. This product does not contain hemp, nor marijuana for that matter, yet the marketer of the drink is trying to profit off the marketability of a cannabis leaf. The bottom line: If a product doesn’t contain hemp, it shouldn’t have a label containing a cannabis leaf.

Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia — Hemp is now for sale at general stores throughout New South Wales (NSW). It comes in the form of a drink.

The drink is not actually made from hemp, but features marijuana leaves on the label and contains large amounts of caffeine.

The Opposition’s Fair Trading spokeswoman, Katrina Hodgkinson MP, believes the drink is promoting illicit drugs to teenagers.

“The selling of this drink with the marijuana leaves on the front is like saying it is okay to have hemp, so it’s okay to use marijuana,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The labelling of this high-caffeine drink is obviously aimed at young teenagers. The association of this drink with an illegal drug is unconscionable.”

Ms Hodgkinson brought the drink to Minister for Fair Trading Reba Meagher’s attention, who has said she would refer it to the Department of Fair Trading for advice as she was not aware of its existence.

The drink is also high in caffeine and Ms Hodgkinson said it was hard to read warnings in small print about the recommended amount to consume and who should not drink it.

Ms Hodgkinson first discovered the drink when she walked into a corner shop, where it was on sale for $3 a bottle. The drink is imported from New Zealand.

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