Lucas,  says part of her intent relates to changing the stigma associated with industrial hemp and to separate hemp from its incorrect associations with recreational cannabis

The other part, reports the Tasmanian Examiner, which is connected to the first, is to exert pressure on state and federal lawmakers to allow hemp growers and processors to grow crops for cannabidiol, or CBD oil, on a broadacre scale, and create clear legislative frameworks for entrepreneurs wanting to market and sell hemp products.

“I came back to Tassie with the specific intent of playing my part in bringing this industry forward,”

Ms Lucas said.


The Examiner reports further..

“We have so many, very hard working experts, growers and processors who could be growing jobs in this industry for this state. Our potential to have an economic boom in this area is limitless but we are being held back by archaic laws based on false science and ideology.”

 Industrial hemp does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol otherwise known as THC

Ms Lucas said there were more than 1000 varieties of the cannabis sativa plant in existence and 90 per cent of these varieties do not contain THC, which is the compound that gets people high.

She said they do however have a myriad of other uses and contain many other compounds, including cannabidiol, that could be exploited by those in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, bio-plastics, bio-fuels, paper, textiles, building, gardening and food industries.

“One of the big drivers for me is to support the [THA] board and bring decision makers together, with growers, to make legislative changes so we in Tasmania can be exploiting this crop and its potential,” she said.

“The plant cannabis is covered by three pieces of legislation in Tasmania and there are many contradictions between those three acts which create a lot of uncertainty…There has never been a push in this state, and real pressure put onto lawmakers, to tackle this legislation and get redrafting.”

Ms Lucas said it was about creating a legislative framework so entrepreneurs in this space can seriously look into and take advantage of business opportunities in this space.

She said Tasmania already had the expertise and backing to develop a world-class hemp industry, and was ready for legislative change.

“We could be positioning ourselves, right from the start, to make really high margin, locally-made products using hemp grown by Tasmanian farmers in a clean environment.”

She said her experience living in the US, Colorado, and watching the laws and culture change around industrial hemp and CBD, had shown her that change is possible.

“Everyone was saying it is never going to change, but then it happened. If enough people demand change, and really put a strong message out there, then change does happen,” she said.

“We cannot wait another two or three years, we could be really making a difference now.”