Industrial hemp licences

In the Northern Territory (NT) you need a licence to possess, cultivate, process or supply industrial hemp.

You also require a licence to conduct research into the production of hemp seed or stem fibre.

Industrial hemp is also known as low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp. Because it has very low levels of THC, it has no psychoactive (mind altering) effects if consumed.

Industrial hemp seed and oil can be used in food products, cosmetics and other industrial products. The fibre can be used in textiles, paper and building materials.

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Industrial hemp production is regulated in the NT under the Hemp Industry Act 2019 and the Hemp Industry Regulations 2020.

All licence holders must follow the rules outlined in the Act.

Who is eligible

An applicant or any associate is ineligible if they have been convicted of a drug related offence or other offences as defined under the Act.

An applicant must:

  • be of good repute with regard to their character, honesty and integrity
  • have a lawful and genuine reason to require a licence
  • ordinarily reside in Australia
  • not be affected by bankruptcy action.

Licence conditions

Licence holders must meet the below conditions.

Other conditions may be imposed on a licence at any time by written notice to the licensee.

Licence holders must:

  • notify the government of any changes to the information provided in the application
  • notify the government of the start of cultivation process
  • report annually on activities carried out under the licence
  • use secure consignment notices to accompany material being supplied by the licensee
  • only use industrial hemp material be supplied by a person authorised to do so under the NT Act or a corresponding law in another state or territory or under Commonwealth legislation.

Commercial licence holders

Additional commercial licence conditions under the regulations include:

  • a cultivation area of at least two hectares
  • the use of hemp cultivars only as included on the approved list
  • restrictions on use of material for stock feed
  • limitations on extraction or processing of hemp plant material.

Conditions that may apply to individual licences

Other conditions can be defined in the license as approved such as:

  • ensuring adequate labelling of seed stored on the premises
  • destroying crop residue and ‘volunteer’ plants
  • providing records of industrial hemp sowing, harvest, processing and supply reports
  • notifying the government and NT Police of any theft.

A commercial licence authorises the licencee to possess, cultivate, process or supply industrial hemp for commercial purposes.

Application fee

You will need to pay a non-refundable fee of $1,250 to apply for a five-year commercial licence.

How to apply

Follow these steps:

Step 1. Check your eligibility

Read the regulations and licence conditions at the top of this page.

You should also review the list of approved seed cultivars.

Step 2. Fill in the form

Complete the licence application:

Step 3. Attach supporting documents

Attach the following:

  • copy of applicant and all associates photo identification
  • criminal history check result of applicant and all associates
  • completed application form with declaration signed
  • copy of proof of property ownership and land size such as a land title certificate
  • signed property owner consent PDF (134.3 KB) to cultivate low THC hemp on property (if applicable)
  • copy of business registration certificate with ABN and ACN number
  • property sketch depicting area under cultivation and associated buildings used
    under the licence
  • Google earth satellite map with GPS coordinates (if possible, not mandatory).

Step 4. Submit

Submit your application and all supporting documentation by post or email.

There are two types of research licences:

  • class A research licence - for the research of industrial hemp
  • class B research licence - for the research of hemp.

These licences authorise the licencee to possess, cultivate, process or supply industrial hemp or hemp for one of the following scientific purposes:

  • research
  • instruction
  • analysis
  • study for the purpose of producing low THC hemp.

Application fee

Class A non-refundable application fee: $1,750.

Class B non-refundable application fee: $3,000.

How to apply

Follow the steps below.

Step 1. Check your eligibility

Read the regulations and licence conditions at the top of this page.

You should also review the list of approved seed cultivars.

Step 2. Fill in the form

Complete the form that relates to the type of licence you are applying for.

Class A:

Class B:

Step 3. Attach supporting documents

Attach the following:

  • copy of applicant and all associates photo identification
  • criminal history check result of applicant and all associates
  • completed application form with declaration signed
  • copy of proof of property ownership and land size such as a land title certificate
  • signed property owner consent PDF (134.3 KB) to cultivate low THC hemp on property (if applicable)
  • copy of business registration certificate with ABN and ACN number
  • property sketch depicting area under cultivation and associated buildings used
    under the licence
  • Google earth satellite map with GPS coordinates (if possible, not mandatory)
  • comprehensive description of the research, instruction or study proposed including the objectives, research, instruction, analysis, proposed achievements, security measures and risk assessment plan
  • education qualifications, experience of applicant and any associates and other relevant qualifications for conducting research.

Step 4. Submit

Submit your application and all supporting documentation by post or email.

Find forms for reporting and compliance in the table below.

Name of form What it is for
Commencement of cultivation notification PDF (155.7 KB)
Commencement of cultivation notification DOCX (61.2 KB)
Use this form to submit a commencement of cultivation notice, required within seven days of cultivation of each crop.
Licence annual report PDF (160.0 KB)
Licence annual report  DOCX (60.7 KB)
Use this form to submit an annual report for each year the licence is held.
Approved consignment notice PDF (562.2 KB)
Approved consignment notice  DOCX (61.3 KB)
Use this form if supplying live hemp plants, hemp tissue culture or viable hemp seed. Licensees must provide an approved consignment notice to accompany the hemp product.
Recognition of a new cultivar for addition to the approved list form DOCX (63.3 KB)
Recognition of a new cultivar for addition to the approved list form PDF (619.4 KB)
Use this form to apply for a new cultivar to be added to the NT approved cultivars list. For more information, read the assessment criteria.
Request for amendment to licence conditions PDF (140.9 KB)
Request for amendment to licence conditions DOCX (68.2 KB)
Use this form to request an amendment to your licence conditions.
Property owner consent PDF (134.3 KB)
Property owner consent DOCX (60.2 KB)
Use this form obtain written permission from land owners to cultivate industrial hemp.
Licensee sampling request  PDF (156.0 KB)
Licensee sampling request  DOCX (60.2 KB)
Use this form to request crops to be sampled by an authorised inspector.
Licensees are required to request crop sampling at least two weeks prior to the optimal time in the growth cycle for THC levels to be at their peak (usually greater than 70 days after planting/sowing or at 50% seed set, dependant on proposed crop use).

Contact

Hemp Compliance Unit
Plant Biosecurity Branch 
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
hempcompliance@nt.gov.au

GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: 08 8999 2118

Last updated: 01 October 2020

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