Outdated regulation is putting a handbrake on the industrial hemp industry, according to stakeholders, who believe it has the potential to be Australia’s next agricultural success story.
An Allied Market Research report from 2020 found the global market for hemp, which is used in beauty products to food, clothes and construction, is worth about $4.9 billion.
But in Australia, its farmgate value is worth just a few million dollars, and Australian Hemp Council president Tim Schmidt believed strict regulation was “holding the industry back”.
He said maturing markets, consumer interest in sustainable products and changing community attitudes were seen as signs that the Australian hemp industry was on “the precipice of expansion”.
Mr Schmidt believed regulatory reform would make Australia’s crops five times more valuable.