Mr Christopher Woodney is a father, husband, and small businessman in Rotorua. His life is now in tatters after having his business, Hemp Brokers effectively destroyed by the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry appears to have done this to defend the foreign-owned pharmaceutical industry from competition with kiwi farmers and businessmen like Mr Woodney.
When Mr Wodney’s sister, a prison nurse, and his best friend (the brother in law of NZ First’s Fletcher Tabetaeu) were in terminal decline from leukemia and multiple botched surgeries; he saved both of their lives – to the surprise of the medical fraternity.
Mr Woodney saved their lives, and since then helped many others, with legal products of industrial hemp; a non-psychoactive form of cannabis that has been legally grown in NZ since 2008.
In Italy, since 2016, legal hemp has reduced pharmaceutical sales in many important categories (incl. pain, mental illness, sleep) by 11%.
All other pharmaceutical sales have dropped 1.2%, without advertising, education, or provision by medical professionals, and with Italians paying three times the black market price of cannabis, for hemp, instead of taking free pharmaceuticals from the NHS.
In NZ, hemp remains illegal for the public to access, based upon a maximally negative interpretation of the Hemp regulations by MedSafe, the regulator.
Medsafe is funded by levies on the pharmaceutical industry.
After insisting that Mr Woodney get Hemp licenses for his hemp brokerage, he complied. The Ministry has now canceled his licenses and put him under a restraint of trade. Mr Woodney now faces forced liquidation and could lose his property and assets.
Is this an acceptable way to treat a pioneer in the industrial hemp industry, if the Government’s goal is really to develop affordable hemp-based food and health products from a thriving local industry?