Assessment criteria for adding a new cultivar to the approved list

The following assessment criteria outlines what is assessed by the CEO of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT).

Under the Hemp Industry Regulations 2020, this includes whether the hemp seed will produce:

  • hemp plants with a THC concentration in the leaves and flowering heads of no more than 0.5% under regulation 24(1) and
  • if it can be added on the cultivar list as per regulation 24(2).

Your application must meet one or more of the below criteria to be considered by the CEO.

You must also include supporting documents that proves the claim under the selected criteria type.

  Assessment criteriaExplanation
ISO 17025 THC analysis

THC analysis of the parent crop from a lab accredited under ISO 17025 with the necessary protocols in place to test for THC in hemp.

ISO 17025 is the internationally recognised standard for testing laboratories that applies in Australia and overseas.

In Australia, this international standard is represented by NATA and testing is to ensure the hemp is considered as industrial with THC levels consistently being <0.5%.

The ISO 17025 international accredited laboratory process provides objective, independent attestation that the facility is competent to carry out testing, calibration, inspection or related technical activities in accordance with international and other standards.

Canadian cultivar list Any variety listed on the Canadian cultivar list will be included on the NT cultivar list.

Canada has legislated requirements similar to those in the NT for testing of THC by ISO 17025 accredited laboratories to ensure the variety is certified as industrial hemp with THC levels of 0.5% or less.

For this reason, any varieties listed on the Canadian Cultivar List will be meet the NT requirements for 0.5% THC in line with ISO 17025 and will therefore be accepted in the NT.

Plant Breeders Rights

Inclusion as an industrial hemp cultivar in the Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) Australia.

The requirements for registration as industrial hemp for plant breeders ensures the seed from the registered variety will typically produce THC levels <0.5%.

The Plant Breeders Rights has rigorous guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity and stability of plant varieties before registration as a particular genus and variety will be granted.

This ensures that varieties registered as industrial hemp must be of parent crops that test <0.5% THC otherwise it is not considered to be industrial hemp and will not be registered as such.

OECD list

The seeds have been certified and issued an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seed certification number.

The Australian Seeds Authority is Australia's designated authority for International Seed testing Association (ISTA) and OECD Seeds Schemes under a licence agreement with the DITT.

THC levels must be <0.5% for the seed to be certified as industrial hemp.

OECD standards set lower THC thresholds (0.3%) than in Australia.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has established evidence-based international standards for certifying seed with specific rules and regulations required for certification.

The ISO 17025 accredited laboratories that test the THC levels in industrial hemp to ensure they remain at <0.5% are of the highest standard to ensure compliance by industrial hemp regulations.

THC test result data THC test result data that indicates crops of the cultivar or variety consistently yield a THC concentration in the leaves and flowering heads of not more than 0.5%.

THC test result statistics indicate the acceptable levels of THC being <0.5% for seed germplasm in particular varieties grown in Australia as industrial hemp.

This is the upper limit for THC levels for it to remain in the industrial hemp definition.

Last updated: 09 October 2020

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