Hemp changes to grow jobs

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Shan­non Boch­enek

CHANGES to WA’s hemp grow­ing leg­is­la­tion are a step in the right di­rec­tion, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced changes last month, say­ing it was “loos­en­ing a leg­isla­tive bar­rier that was lim­it­ing hemp pro­duc­tion in the State”.

Amend­ments to the In­dus­trial Hemp Act will see the max­i­mum al­low­able THC con­tent for in­dus­trial hemp lifted from 0.35 per cent to one per cent.

Nan­nup hemp grower and In­dus­trial Hemp Western Aus­tralia As­so­ci­a­tion spokesman Glen Ossy-Or­ley said the changes were a small step in the right di­rec­tion.

“Even though they’re tiny steps at this stage, we’re mov­ing for­ward.” he said.

Mr Ossy-Or­ley said the next steps in the in­dus­try’s de­vel­op­ment would in­clude a shift of pub­lic at­ti­tude as well as fi­nan­cial sup­port from the gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial sec­tors.

“When I first got into the in­dus­try four years ago peo­ple were still afraid of the word,” he said.

“To­day, it’s pretty com­mon sense, peo­ple know there’s an in­dus­trial side and a food side and a med­i­cal side to the in­dus­try.

“We are get­ting used to it but the in­dus­try is still fledg­ling, we still need in­vestors to put in for a pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity.”

Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the State Gov­ern­ment saw a “real po­ten­tial for a scale-up of hemp pro­duc­tion in WA to com­mer­cial lev­els, help­ing to create jobs in agri­cul­ture and pro­cess­ing right across the re­gions”.

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