New Tasmanian Hemp Laws Cut Red Tape

Industrial hemp - Tasmania
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New industrial hemp laws in Tasmania, Australia will help the industry grow more rapidly in the state.

Last Thursday, both houses of Parliament passed legislation that removes regulatory burden and will promote investment and job creation in Tasmania’s industrial hemp sector.

The Industrial Hemp Bill provides recognition that hemp is an agricultural crop; enables new licencing, extended licencing terms of five years and an increased THC threshold to align with other states.

The Bill means growers will now only need to deal with one government department instead of five as previously.

Tasmania’s Industrial Hemp Association welcomed the passing of the legislation. Currently, there are only around a dozen industrial hemp farmers in the state.

“We’ve been working for a long time on this and I give the government credit for passing the new laws before the end of the year,” said Association president Phil Reader.

“Farmers now have a clearer picture of the future, and obviously we are waiting for approval for industrial hemp as a food crop.”

On that point – there’s been a renewed call from the Association for the approval for industrial hemp to be grown for food to take priority over the legalisation of medicinal cannabis; as Mr. Reader says there is no uncertainty regarding hemp seed in connection with human consumption.

Hemp seed is a highly nutritious food. It’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seed has been somewhat of a victim of its association with marijuana;  however it contains very low levels of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive component of cannabis.

Industrial hemp generally has faced the same type of discrimination, even though it is a subspecies of its more psychoactive relative. In industrial hemp the entire plant has has a very low THC content and is grown very differently to medicinal cannabis.

Industrial hemp is plant with a myriad of uses aside from food – some of its many applications include textiles, paper, insulation, mulch, animal bedding and even a type of concrete.