Hemp Industry Bill passed in Parliament
The Legislative Assembly has passed the Hemp Industry Bill, which will see the development of an NT hemp sector.
The Bill, which was introduced in May and passed on 8 August, 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 Act, 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.
Industrial hemp plants differ from regular hemp species in that they contain very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If consumed foods and products made from industrial hemp have no psycho-active effects on individuals.
Hemp fibre has been used for manufacturing of textiles, ropes and lines, paper and building materials and its grain is a highly nutritious food source, either as a whole grain, an emulsified cake, flour, or pressed oil.
The Territory is well positioned geographically and climatically to become a region that could supply viable seed for hemp crop propagation in southern broadacre areas of Australia.
The Act also allows for authorised inspectors to be appointed with appropriate powers of entry, inspection and seizure to ensure compliance and provides offences and penalties for contravening specified provisions of the Act.