Hemp oil grow­ing com­mu­nity sup­port

Isis Town and Country - - News -

MEM­BER for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett is call­ing for a Par­lia­men­tary In­quiry to in­ves­ti­gate Queens­land’s reg­u­la­tory frame­works sur­round­ing medic­i­nal hemp.

Mr Ben­nett’s call fol­lows a tour he re­cently un­der­took of an Agri Fi­bre In­dus­tries prop­erty in Bund­aberg, where a grower is de­vel­op­ing an in­dus­trial hemp oil va­ri­ety.

“The pro­ducer is de­vel­op­ing an in­dus­trial hemp oil va­ri­ety that could po­ten­tially be used for ex­port as a medicine if the regulation al­lowed ex­port to coun­tries that al­low medic­i­nal cannabis,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“It’s my un­der­stand­ing that un­der the present law, the res­i­dent is al­lowed to breed, grow and pos­sess in­dus­trial hemp.

“In­dus­trial hemp can be used legally through­out the Com­mon­wealth for fi­bre, top­i­cal oil and pro­cessed cannabis prod­ucts other than food for hu­man con­sump­tion or as a med­i­cal prod­uct.

“Grow­ers in the Bur­nett are ready to in­vest in the im­por­tant new in­dus­try of hemp fi­bre and pos­si­bly medic­i­nal cannabis pro­duc­tion, but it seems they have hit a road block,” Mr Ben­nett said.

Mr Ben­nett said cur­rent state leg­is­la­tion did not al­low for the ex­port of such prod­ucts.

“Agri Fi­bre In­dus­tries wants to have a fair go with an ex­port li­cence to sup­ply coun­tries with raw medic­i­nal prod­uct and build­ing prod­ucts from in­dus­trial hemp from Queens­land to coun­tries that al­low such prod­ucts,” he said.

Mr Ben­nett said he came away from the Bund­aberg fa­cil­ity with a new-found re­spect for the in­dus­try.

“I’m re­ally keen to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate th­ese ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances that have brought this com­pany closer to com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions right here in the Bund­aberg re­gion,” he said.

Mr Ben­nett called on the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture to re­move the red tape fac­ing pro­duc­ers such as Agri Fi­bre In­dus­tries to sup­port ex­port li­cences for medic­i­nal hemp and food prod­ucts.

“This would have huge ben­e­fits for our re­gion in the cre­ation of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and would value add to ex­ist­ing agri­cul­tural prac­tices through off-sea­son plant­ing, and as­sist in build­ing a wider in­dus­try based on value added man­u­fac­tur­ing of agri­cul­tural pro­duces, lead­ing to ex­port in­come from prod­ucts and tech­no­log­i­cal ser­vices.

“I see no rea­son why the Agri­cul­ture min­is­ter wouldn’t want to get be­hind this ini­tia­tive. It’s right on her doorstep.”

PHOTO: STUDIO023

An in­dus­trial hemp crop.

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