Hemp Bill introduced into Parliament
On 16 May 2019 the Hemp Industry Bill was introduced into Parliament.
The Bill puts forward a framework to regulate the development and operation of an industrial hemp industry in the Territory. 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.
Under the introduced Bill a licensing regime is proposed to allow for lawful possession, cultivation, processing and supply of industrial hemp for commercial production of goods, or for scientific research, instruction, analysis or study.
The Bill sets out the responsibility and accountability for specified administrative powers such as granting and renewing licences, and how these will be shared between the chief executive officer of the responsible regulatory agency and the Commissioner of Police.
The Bill also allows for authorised inspectors to be appointed with appropriate powers of entry, inspection and seizure to ensure compliance under the future Act and provides offences and penalties for contravening specified provisions of the Act.