Farmers in South Australia will soon be able to apply to become a registered poppy producer with State Government regulations coming into effect today (Friday, September 16).
The proclamation of the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Amendment Bill 2015 and the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Regulations 2016 is the latest step towards allowing the lawful growing and processing of opium poppies to occur in South Australia.
To become a registered poppy producer, potential growers will need to meet certain conditions in order to obtain a licence to grow the crop.
These conditions include having a contract with a licensed poppy processor and undertaking checks with SA Police.
Applications for farmers interested in growing this crop will be available by the end of the year.
Further information from www.pir.sa.gov.au/poppycultivation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell
The growing of poppy crops in South Australia, particularly in the South-East region, presents a potentially viable and profitable rotational option for farmers who traditionally grow seed and other broadacre crops.
The South-East has the most suitable climate and soil conditions, with the added advantage of existing crop irrigation infrastructure.
This new crop provides licenced farmers another option in diversifying their faming, boosting the region’s economy and creating local jobs. We expect the first crops to be grown as early as 2017.
Opiate-based medications are used for a wide range of conditions, including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications. It will still be illegal to take, use, sell, grow, process, or transport poppies without a licence from the State Government.
Illegal possession of poppy plant parts or substances derived from poppies is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.