Opium poppy production in South Australia

South Australia now has a regulated opium poppy industry following the introduction of regulatory framework, which came into effect on 16 September 2016.

The South Australian Government proclaimed the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Amendment Bill 2015 and the making of the Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation) Regulations 2016.

This regulatory framework allows for the lawful growing and processing of opium poppies to occur in the state and complies with Australia’s international obligations under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 to control the growing of opium plants and ensure effective controls are in place to protect the community and industry.

Australia is an international leader in the manufacture and export of opiate raw material, currently producing around half the world’s raw opiate supply for pharmaceutical manufacture and research.

Commercial Cultivation of Poppies in SA – Grower Details

The South Australian Poppy Cultivation Scheme is now in operation.

Growers interested in cultivating poppies should first contact the processor licensed in South Australia to register their interest. The processor currently licensed in SA is TPI Enterprises Ltd.

TPI Enterprises

Once a contract has been entered into with a licensed processor, growers must apply for a alkaloid poppy cultivation licence through PIRSA.

A detailed Information Booklet, application form and risk management plan template are available from PIRSA by contacting 1300 799 684 or emailing pirsa.poppycultivation@sa.gov.au

All persons involved in sowing, cultivation, harvesting and cartage of the opium poppy crop must also meet a fit and proper person criteria and undergo a National Police Check.

View information about:

SA’s Poppy Cultivation Scheme

The scheme came into operation on the 16 September 2016.

The scheme allows for the commercial cultivation and processing of poppies while ensuring effective regulatory controls are in place to manage the risks associated with poppy cultivation.

Poppies are grown for therapeutic and research purposes. Alkaloids (such as morphine, codeine and thebaine) are extracted from poppy straw by licensed processors for use in pain relief and other medications.

Poppy cultivation and processing is high regulated activity and South Australian growers must meet a range of specific requirements in order to become an opium poppy grower.

The growing of poppies in South Australia presents a potentially viable and profitable rotational option for farmers who traditionally grow seed and other horticultural crops. In SA, poppies will be sown from April with harvest in December to January.

A person cannot enter a poppy cultivation area unless accompanied by a licensed grower, authorised employee or authorised inspector. Poppy cultivation areas are fenced and gates, locks and warning signs that entry is prohibited and illegal use of crop may cause death are used to restrict access. If you notice suspicious or unusual activity near a poppy crop contact South Australia Police.

Illegal possession of poppy plant parts or substances derived from poppies is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.

Any ingestion of poppy material should be treated as an emergency  - call 000 immediately for assistance.

More Information


If you have any questions please contact:

PIRSA Poppy Cultivation Scheme
Phone: 1300 799 684
Email: pirsa.poppycultivation@sa.gov.au

Michael McManus - Manager - Poppy Cultivation Scheme
Phone: (08) 8207 7983
Email: michael.mcmanus@sa.gov.au

TPI Enterprises Ltd
Email: agri@tpienterprises.com
Website: www.tpienterprises.com

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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