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Australia : Lower House supports Industrial Hemp Bill 2015.

The Hodgman Liberal Government s Industrial Hemp Bill 2015 has today passed the House of Assembly.

It will now be tabled for debate in the Legislative Council.

The Bill is another demonstration of the Government s commitment to growing agriculture, removing unnecessary red tape, encouraging investment and creating jobs.

The Industrial Hemp Bill supports the growth of the industrial hemp sector through simplified regulation of the industry. As it stands, the current regulation under poisons legislation, is a barrier to industry growth.

This Government has listened to the concerns of the industry.

The Bill will establish a regulatory framework that supports the expansion of the sector, while not overburdening it with unnecessary regulation.

This Bill will finally cut the unnecessary red tape and recognise industrial hemp is an agricultural crop, while not compromising law enforcement of illicit cannabis.

The Bill establishes robust and simple licencing, including:

Streamlining the licencing under the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment rather than the current system under the Poisons Act and Department of Health and Human Services; Legislating the policy decision to extend licencing from one year to five years, to give farmers more certainty and allow them to get on with the job of growing the crop; Legislating the policy decision to increasing the allowable THC threshold from 0.35 to 1.0 to bring the state in line with New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT and allow for easier trade of material. Licences to be issued for commercial production, food production, or science and research, to enable industry growth; The introduction of a new special research licence to allow research into cannabis that exceeds 1% THC threshold, to support the development of new or improved strains of industrial hemp.

It is important to note that this Bill is focussed on low-THC varieties of cannabis, which are grown to extract fibre and oil, and have no value as a drug.

This Bill has been developed following extensive consultation and collaboration with the industry, including the Industrial Hemp Association of Tasmania, TFGA, Tasmania Police and other stakeholders.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 25, 2015
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