Feedback has been invited on a number of proposed changes to hemp legislation in the Australian state of Tasmania.
A public consultation period has kicked off concerning changes to the state’s Industrial Hemp Act 2015 and the Industrial Hemp Amendment Regulations 2016. The Act authorises the supply, cultivation, manufacture and research of the crop in Tasmania.
Every hemp crop grown in Tasmania needs to be tested for levels of THC, which must be below 1% as required by the Act and Regulations. Industrial hemp can only be grown in Tasmania from certified hemp seed that will typically result in plants with a concentration of THC of not more than 0.5%.
Activity within the state’s industrial hemp sector peaked in 2019-20 with 1,500 hectares under cultivation, at which point Tasmania produced 30 per cent of Australia’s total industrial hemp. More recently, an over-supply of hemp seed in global markets has reduced the size of Tasmania’s commercial industrial hemp crop.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) is the body responsible for issuing licences to authorise the possession, cultivation, supply and manufacture of industrial hemp for non-therapeutic uses – e.g., seed, food and fibre. NRE Tas is not involved with oversight of hemp cannabinoid production – that is regulated by the Australian Government’s Office of Drug Control.
NRE Tas is inviting the public to make submissions on the Draft Industrial Hemp Amendment Bill 2023, which proposes several changes to the Act and Regulations.
The proposed amendments have been drafted to:
- support industry growth and value-adding potential.
- address regulatory gaps and improve transparency.
- improve efficiency, clarity and consistency with existing legislation.
Commencing last week, the public consultation period for the Draft Bill will close at 5pm on 25 October 2023.
A copy of the Draft Bill is available for download here and the Legislation Fact Sheet summarising key elements of the Bill here. The proposed changes are the outcome of a Tasmanian Government review of the Act this year. The report summarising the process, findings and outcomes of the Review can be accessed here.