Victoria’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has tabled its 2023 report into the state’s industrial hemp industry.   

The report follows a parliamentary inquiry, instigated by Legalise Cannabis MP Rachel Payne in May, which examined the issues, barriers and opportunities facing the sector.  

The committee heard from a range of experts and stakeholders in the agricultural, scientific, building, planning and infrastructure sectors and the results from that process will now be tabled in the Legislative Council.   

Legalise Cannabis Victoria said the report’s recommendations have three key themes:  

  • A viable Victorian hemp industry won’t cost a lot of money and is achievable.  
  • When it comes to hemp investment, reducing the stigma of hemp through meaningful legislative reform is key to improving the attitudes of both local government and investors.
  • The Victorian Government has an opportunity to advocate for hemp at a national level.   

It said with an estimated global value of A$4.9 billion, hemp has the “potential to guarantee more jobs in the regions, increase Victorian export earnings and substantially reduce state-wide carbon emissions.  

Rachel Payne (photo: Kate Meakin)

The party added: “As well as hemp being a sustainable and viable option for fibre pulp, paper products, food and clothing, hemp bricks and hemp blocks are now used as world-class building and insulation materials.  

“Legalise Cannabis Victoria welcomes the findings and recommendations of this report and encourages the Allan Labor Government to wholeheartedly consider what hemp could do for our state.”   

Payne said: “My inquiry has set out a clear path to build the hemp industry in Victoria. For too long this sustainable fibre has been neglected and overlooked for less versatile crops.  

“Whether it’s to build houses, make food, or capture carbon, the whole of hemp can be used – but we need the Government to address barriers such as planning laws and procurement policies. 

“I am excited to see what levers the state government has got in its toolbox to get the hemp industry where it really should be.” 

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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