Hemp has to be one of the most misunderstood plants on this planet. Despite it having multiple uses over thousands of years - including food, construction, fuels and fibre - the rise of drug culture and prohibition on cannabis has seen industry growth stymied. This is despite the cannabis plant used to grow it typically containing less than one percent THC.
The global hemp market is forecast to grow from $3.5 billion to $26.6 billion by 2025, presenting significant opportunities for Australian farmers and job creation. However Australia remains an international laggard in this field.
Tasmania already produces around 80% of the nation’s hemp crop, making a boost for hemp a boost for Tasmanian jobs. The Greens will supercharge the growth of the hemp industry by investing $20 million to support partners and research.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for agriculture, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
“Hemp has been widely vilified, shunned and prohibited despite the cannabis plant used to grow it typically containing less than one percent THC.
“While science has helped reclaim hemp's true versatility in many parts of the world, Australia has been slow to accept the facts and grasp its potential.
“It wasn’t until 2017 that Australia legalised hemp for food, overturning a prohibition that had existed since 1937. However unfortunately the industry has yet to benefit from the research and development funding enjoyed by other agricultural industries.
“The Commonwealth funds at least $12.65 million each year directly to the established cotton industry. Whereas the fledgling hemp industry has received $500,000 per annum over the last five years.
“More government work is needed to enhance innovation and grow the hemp industry and there’s no better place for this work to be focused than in lutruwita/Tasmania.
“Tassie already produces around 80% of the nation’s hemp crop making a boost for hemp a boost for Tasmanian jobs.
“In the balance of power after the next election the Greens will push to supercharge the growth of the hemp industry by investing $20 million into supporting hemp industry partners and research. We are also remain ready to work with all levels of Government to remove existing regulatory barriers to hemp production.”