Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry

    Government backs growing hemp industry

    22/02/2018 7:30 AM
    • Maximum permitted THC content in industrial hemp to be increased
    • Move to help drive growth in the hemp industry and regional jobs in WA
    • State Government convenes hemp industry roundtable 

    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 per cent.


    Currently, the Industrial Hemp Act only permits hemp with a THC content below 0.35 per cent.


    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 per cent.


    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.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan will today host a roundtable of WA hemp growers, processors and researchers to identify key opportunities for the industry.


    There is estimated to be between 25,000 and 50,000 end uses of industrial hemp under the broad categories of paper, textiles, food, building materials, cosmetics, plastics and biofuel.


    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.


    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


    "Interest in WA's hemp industry has never been higher; the first WA hemp food and drink products are appearing in the market, and we want to support development of this job-creating industry.


    "This amendment will bring WA into line with national standards, and allow our producers to grow a far greater variety of hemp products in WA.


    "We see real potential for a scale-up of hemp production in WA to commercial levels, helping to create jobs in agriculture and processing right across the regions."


    Minister's office - 6552 6200