News

New legislation paves the way for industrial hemp industry in SA

Saturday 11 November 2017

The proclamation of the Industrial Hemp Act 2017 and associated regulatory framework, which will come into effect on Sunday 12 November, will allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp and the processing and manufacture of industrial hemp products in South Australia.


Under the regulatory framework, potential hemp growers, processors and suppliers will be required to meet certain conditions in order to be granted licences issued by the State Government to allow the cultivation or manufacture of industrial hemp.

The timing of this coincides with changes agreed six months ago at a national level to the Food Standards Code that will allow the use of low THC hemp seed or hemp seed oil as a food or in food products.

Based on current predictions, it is anticipated that within five years a small and expanding industrial hemp industry will be established in South Australia, with a farm gate value of $3 million a year.

For further information visit: www.pir.sa.gov.au/primary_industry/industrial_hemp

Background

Industrial hemp is produced from cannabis plants with low tetrahydocannabinol (THC) content – less than one percent – in the leaves, flowers and stems. Its consumption provides no psychotropic effects.

Industrial hemp has been successfully grown in other jurisdictions, mostly for fibre and seed production, and used in items such as textiles, paper, rope, fuel, oil and stock feed.

The Industrial Hemp Act 2017 and associated regulatory framework is administered by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) in liaison with SA Police and SA Health.

To further assist in the industry’s development, research trials are being undertaken by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) – the scientific research division of PIRSA – in the Riverland and South East.

These trials aim to determine the crop’s optimum sowing and growing period, assess different industrial hemp varieties and investigate the suitability of the Riverland and the South-East for hemp grain and fibre production. Planting for the field trials will continue through to January with sowing at three week intervals.

Quotes attributable to Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell

Industrial hemp is an exciting new potential agricultural enterprise for South Australia, providing farmers and processors with another option to diversify their operations. It is vital we have the right legislative framework in place and a solid research footing to ensure we are developing this emerging primary industry appropriately.

The research program being undertaken by SARDI, combined with the latest in available crop technology, will provide prospective growers with the best advice for considering industrial hemp as a potential new crop in their farming mix.

The State Government is committed in supporting our agriculture sector to innovate and grow.

One in five working South Australians is employed in our agribusiness sector and it is the engine room of our economy.

Quotes attributable to Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher

South Australia will continue to back industries which have the potential to deliver economic benefits and jobs for our state.

The hemp manufacturing industry is expected to grow over the next five years, creating a new revenue source for our agricultural industry.

The wide range of products that can be manufactured from industrial hemp, including cosmetics, food, textiles and construction materials, provides plenty of scope for business
development, particularly in regional areas.

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Media Contacts

Celia Brissenden - Communications Manager, Regional Development, Fisheries & Aquaculture and Forestry
Email: celia.brissenden@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0477 359 248

Agriculture, Food & Wine, Biosecurity and SARDI
Email: pirsa.media@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0455 091 908


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