Territory agriculture has an exciting new opportunity with the commencement of the Hemp Industry Act and regulations today.
The milestone opens the door for the Territory’s farm sector to grow this innovative new crop which produces a versatile, environmentally sustainable and profitable product.
Establishing a hemp sector in the Territory has the potential to facilitate investment and job opportunities in regional areas and capitalise on emerging domestic and international market opportunities.
The commencement of the new Act provides the Territory with the legislative framework for the regulation of low delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabis species (i.e. containing less than or equal to 1% THC content) for food, fibre and seed production. The legislation permits the;
- processing and research of industrial hemp, and
- covers the various prohibitions, necessary enforcement provisions, offences and miscellaneous arrangements to support this.
Industrial hemp plants differ from regular hemp species in that they contain very low levels of THC, and if consumed, foods and other products made from industrial hemp have no psycho-active effects on people.
It is cultivated for seed and fibre production, and has many uses, including in the manufacture of textiles, rope and paper. It is a highly nutritious food source, and can be a value-add in products such as soap, lotion and shampoo.
The Territory has a competitive advantage in the emerging industrial hemp market in Australia, with the potential to produce viable seed via a dry season crop and supplying it to the rest of Australia for summer planting.
The ability to plant two 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.
This emerging industry represents great potential in regional areas due to the nature and scale of the crop with the Territory well placed to provide a pre-summer supply of seed to southern domestic markets and supply chains.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby:
“At a time when jobs and investment opportunities are more important than ever for the Territory, the commencement of the Hemp Industry Act is a huge opportunity for our agriculture sector.
“Our farmers and the whole agriculture sector are a significant employer and source of economic activity in regional and remote areas of the Territory. Opening the door for our farmers to grow an emerging and exciting crop as industrial hemp is a great milestone.
“The Territory Labor Government is working hard to support jobs and investment right across the Territory, especially in regional and remote areas.”
Quotes attributable to NT Farmers Association CEO, Paul Burke:
“Northern Territory farmers have watched the development of the Hemp Regulation with considerable interest.
“Hemp will prove an excellent crop in the Northern Australia setting and will diversify opportunities for broad-acre cropping.
“NT Farmers Association will now work with interested producers to make this new opportunity a reality.”
Media Enquiries: Tom Ryan (0436 951 084)