Hemp crops can now be grown legally in the Northern Territory as new laws take effect.
NT growers will be able to cultivate and supply low range cannabis for food, fibre and seed production from Wednesday.
Industrial hemp plants differ from regular hemp species in that they contain very low levels of THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) and if consumed, foods and other products made from industrial hemp have no psycho-active effects on people.
“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,” Primary Industry Minister Paul Kirby said.
“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,” he said.
Hemp is cultivated for seed and fibre production, and has many uses, including in the manufacture of textiles, rope and paper.
It is also a highly nutritious food source, and can be a value-add in products such as soap, lotion and shampoo.
NT Farmers Association CEO Paul Burke said interested producers would be surpported to help make the new crop opportunity a reality.