Legalise Cannabis Victoria (LCV) MPs Rachel Payne and David Ettershank will tomorrow introduce a motion to establish a parliamentary inquiry to explore the potential for the industrial hemp sector to bolster the state’s economy.

Rachel Payne

LCV said despite boasting ideal growing conditions in many regions, Victoria only has six industrial hemp growers cultivating around 170 hectares – a fraction of the nation’s yield. The state falls well behind Tasmania, WA and NSW, with Tasmania currently producing more than seven times that of Victoria, the party added.

The motion will ask the committee to consider whether the regulatory and licensing framework for hemp cultivation and hemp products should be streamlined to benefit the expansion of the industry, and potentially investigate the introduction of a standalone Industrial Hemp Act, similar to those in Tasmania and WA.  

In its 2021 interim report, the Victorian Parliamentary Hemp Taskforce found there are many opportunities to develop the industry and that the government could help in areas including investment, research and legislative change. 

LCV member for South-Eastern Metropolitan Rachel Payne said: “There are limitless opportunities for the Victorian industrial hemp industry to benefit our everyday lives across a multitude of industry and service sectors.  

“Henry Ford used hemp to make his cars and, even now, we are rediscovering that this technology is being used in the automotive industry.

“Victoria has the ideal conditions to grow this fast-growing, high-yield, and extremely versatile resource. We must sow the seeds today to substantially benefit from the growing economic potential this crop can yield for Victoria tomorrow.”    

David Ettershank

Member for Western Metropolitan David Ettershank added: “The global hemp industry is forecast to quadruple to nearly US$20 billion by 2027. We would love to see Victoria become a leader in the industrial hemp revolution of the future.”   

LCV said hemp’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide makes it ideal for carbon sequestration meaning it could play a part in helping Victoria supplement building supply shortages “while meeting the state’s zero emission reduction targets well into the future”.    

But the party said its growth has been stifled by the stigmatisation and criminalisation of cannabis over the last century.

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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