Hemp – versatile, sustainable and profitable
Territory agriculture now has an exciting new opportunity thanks to the Hemp Industry Act. The Territory’s farm sector can now grow this innovative new crop which produces a versatile, environmentally sustainable and profitable product.
Establishing a hemp industry in the Territory attracts investment and creates job opportunities in regional areas. The demand is there and the Territory is ideally placed to benefit.
The commencement of the new Act provides the Territory with the legislative framework for the regulation of low delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabis species (i.e. containing less than or equal to 1% THC content) for food, fibre and seed production. The legislation permits the;
- processing and research of industrial hemp, and
- covers the various prohibitions, necessary enforcement provisions, offences and miscellaneous arrangements to support this.
Industrial hemp plants differ from regular hemp species in that they contain very low levels of THC, and if consumed, foods and other products made from industrial hemp have no psycho-active effects on people.
It is cultivated for seed and fibre production, and has many uses, including in the manufacture of textiles, rope and paper. It is a highly nutritious food source, and can be a value-add in products such as soap, lotion and shampoo.
The Territory has a competitive advantage in the emerging industrial hemp market in Australia, with the potential to produce viable seed via a dry season crop and supplying it to the rest of Australia for summer planting. The ability to plant two crops for Territory farms each dry season increases the potential return to farmers, with hemp grain currently trading at a farm-gate price of around $3,000 per tonne.