Western Australia looks to support hemp for biofuel and bioeconomy

February 22, 2018 |

In Australia, the McGowan Government is set to boost Western Australia’s fledgling hemp industry, loosening a legislative barrier that was limiting hemp production in the State.

The State Government will amend the Industrial Hemp Act 2004 to allow hemp to be grown with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of up to one percent. Currently, the Industrial Hemp Act only permits hemp with a THC content below 0.35 percent.

Changes to the Food Standards and Australia and New Zealand Code in November 2017 permit the sale of food products derived from hemp seed with a THC content of up to one percent.

Amending legislation on maximum THC concentration in line with national standards is expected to increase the number of varieties available for industrial hemp production in WA, particularly in food production through hemp seeds.

While there are currently 42 commercial hemp licensees in WA, largely focused on small-scale production, it is expected that increasing the maximum THC concentration could help to drive new growth and job opportunities in the fledgling industry.

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