HomeNewsVictorian Industrial Hemp Inquiry Seeking Submissions

Victorian Industrial Hemp Inquiry Seeking Submissions

The Australian state of Victoria’s Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee is seeking submissions for a comprehensive inquiry into the issues, barriers and opportunities currently affecting the state’s hemp industry.

On the 31st May 2023, a motion for the inquiry was passed in the Victorian Parliament, which instructs the committee to present a report by 15th November 2023. The wide-ranging investigation will incorporate a comparison of Victoria’s industrial hemp industry with those in other jurisdictions and delve into the challenges impacting expansion of the sector within the state, as well as the environmental implications of such expansion.

On the environmental side of things, Victoria’s hemp industry could – among other benefits – potentially play a role in meeting the state’s ambitious emissions reduction targets given industrial hemp’s attributes in relation to carbon sequestration. According to a document from 2011 submitted to Australia’s Federal parliament, one hectare of industrial hemp can absorb 22 tonnes of CO2 – and multiple crops may be possible in a single year depending on local conditions.

Victoria is seeking to achieve net zero emissions by 2045; with interim goals set for a 28-33% reduction by 2025, 45-50% by 2030 and 75-80% by 2035. The Committee’s investigation will be looking at how hemp can be utilised towards achieving these objectives.

Another aspect of the Committee’s inquiry is the potential introduction of a standalone Industrial Hemp Act to streamline the regulatory and licensing framework for cultivation and hemp products. Currently, the cultivation licensing scheme is provided under Part IVA of Victoria’s Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.

The Committee will also identify key elements necessary for developing a comprehensive hemp industry plan for Victoria. This would be a major step towards formalising and firming the industry’s structure, positioning it for sustainable growth in the years to come. The forthcoming report is also expected to encompass a broad range of other relevant matters.

The terms of reference for the inquiry can be found here and interested parties can make a submission by completing this online form. Submissions will be published here when they are formally accepted by the Committee.

Stakeholders within the industry and beyond will be closely watching this space as the inquiry unfolds over the coming months; building towards a potentially transformative moment for Victoria’s industrial hemp sector.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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