Sunday, August 18, 2013
Hemp production report due soon
By Emily Baker
A REPORT identifying opportunities for Tasmanian hemp growers is expected to reach the lower house late September.
The inquiry from April last year explored issues impacting on industrial hemp's production in Tasmania, identified commercial impediments and looked to resolve relevant issues.
Tasmanian law dictates industrial hemp contains less than .35 per cent of the mind-altering chemical THC.
Special committee chairman Brenton Best said it had "taken some time" to receive all relevant submissions for the report.
Among departmental bodies consulted were Tasmania Police, justice, health and primary industry.
"We've needed to seek out the opinion of all the federal agencies involved in the consequences of hemp being used in food production," Mr Best said.
"We've pretty much received all the replies we've needed to seek out, it's not far away."
Highlighted in the inquiry was the cultivation of hemp for human consumption. Mr Best told the Industrial Hemp Growers Association of Tasmania annual general meeting the committee was working on developing "a suite of recommendations, which ... will lay the foundations for a robust and sustainable industrial hemp industry".In nations following the same or similar food standards as Australia - New Zealand and the UK among them - hemp seeds and oil is sold as a health product.
There are about nine industrial hemp growers in Tasmania.
Industrial Hemp Growers Association of Tasmania president Phil Reader said crops cultivated in the state were already of international food standards.