Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Hemp Industry Bill Passes in Parliament: Diversifying our Economy and Creating Jobs

Today the Legislative Assembly passed the Territory Labor Government’s Hemp Industry Bill, paving the way for an exciting new opportunity for Territory farmers as soon as Dry Season 2020.

The legislation enables farmers and researchers to keep working together developing an NT hemp sector, facilitating investment and job creation opportunities in regional areas.

The Bill, introduced in May, exists to create a required framework in order to regulate the development and operation of an industrial hemp industry in the Northern Territory, capitalising on emerging market opportunities.

Under the bill, a licensing system now exists for possession, cultivation, supply, processing and research of Industrial hemp, and covers the various prohibitions, necessary enforcement provisions, offences and miscellaneous arrangements to support this industry.

The industry will see two main opportunities grow from the passing of this new bill, both a fibre and grain industry (THC levels under 1%), and a viable seed industry (THC levels under 0.5%).*

The NT will have a competitive advantage in the emerging industrial hemp market in Australia, with the potential to supply a viable seed industry to other Australian jurisdictions via a dry season crop, supplying viable seed the rest of Australia for summer planting.

The potential for two dry season crops for Territory farms each Dry Season increases the potential return to farmers, with hemp grain currently garnering a farm-gate price of around $3,000 per tonne.

Other uses for industrial hemp fibre include line, rope, clothing, sunscreen, shampoo, lotions, soap, biofuels, stock feed, paper, building materials, and as a highly nutritious food source.

 

Quotes from Minster for Primary Industries and Resources, Paul Kirby:

“The development of this industry is a real green shoot for the jobs and export economy here in the Northern Territory – diversifying our economy and creating local jobs.

As an emerging superfood with many other uses, this industry will develop and grow as soon as next year, seeing our pastoralists given a new opportunity to diversity their crop offerings here in the Territory.”

 

Quotes from CEO, NT Farmers, Paul Burke:

“NT farmers are really excited about the opportunities this new, emerging crop type may present the industry.

“Industrial hemp has real potential in our current climatic conditions and could be a viable new industry on a broadacre scale which is an exciting proposition.

“NT farmers looks forward to working with Government to facilitate some meaningful trials in the NT to explore the full potential of Industrial Hemp.


*THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the level of potential psychotropic properties in the industrial hemp plant, with levels above 1% considered to be Cannabis. Below 1% is widely considered to be safe for human and animal consumption.

Media Contact: Hannah West (0436 641 108)