A wide-ranging inquiry into Victoria’s industrial hemp industry has made a number of recommendations.
In May this year, a motion for the inquiry was passed in the Victorian Parliament, which instructed the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee to present a report by the middle of last month.
The report, tabled last week, sets out nine recommendations designed to support the industry and provide a boost to the state’s economy.
The first recommendation is that the Victorian Government amends the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 to remove industrial hemp, and create “fit for purpose” legislation consistent with other Australian jurisdictions.
Another is that the State Government along with other hemp-producing states calls on the Commonwealth Government for changes to enable for the use of the whole plant, including CBD extraction. Currently, CBD extraction falls under medicinal cannabis rules and regulations.
Another recommendation is the Victorian Government works with the industrial hemp sector to streamline existing, and somewhat onerous, licencing requirements.
Acknowledging the potential for hemp to improve damaged soils and its carbon abatement attributes, the Committee has also recommended the State Government work with the Commonwealth Government and the Clean Energy Regulator to set up an accreditation framework for industrial hemp crops to be recognised in the Australian carbon credit scheme.
The Committee also wants to see the State Government instruct Agriculture Victoria, which works in partnership with farmers, industries, communities and other government agencies, to prioritise industrial hemp as a growth crop and increase its role in related research.
The Committee has recommended the Victorian Government get more skin in the game financially, by providing seed funding as a minor partner for the establishment of a hemp cooperative in the state.
More recommendations and detail can be found in the full report, which can be accessed here.
Legalise Cannabis Victoria MPs Rachel Payne and David Ettershank introduced the motion to establish a parliamentary inquiry. Commenting on the tabling of the report, the party stated:
“Legalise Cannabis Victoria welcomes the findings and recommendations of this report and encourages the Allan Labor Government to wholeheartedly consider what hemp could do for our state.”