NT hemp bill passes, planting to start
THE Territory Legislative Assembly officially has passed the Hemp Industry Bill, paving the way for farmers to start planting as early as next year's Dry season.
The legislation enables farmers and researchers to keep working together to develop an NT hemp sector, facilitating investment and job creation opportunities in regional areas.
Under the bill - passed on Thursday - a licensing system now exists for possession, cultivation, supply, processing and research of industrial hemp, and covers the various prohibitions, necessary enforcement provisions, offences and miscellaneous arrangements to support this industry.
The NT will see two main opportunities grow from the passing of this new bill, with a fibre and grain industry (THC levels under 1 per cent), and a viable seed industry (THC levels under 0.5 per cent.)
The crops increase potential returns to farmers, with hemp grain currently garnering a farm-gate price of around $3000 per tonne.
NT Farmers CEO Paul Burke said farmers are really excited about the opportunities this new, emerging crop type may present the industry.
"Industrial hemp has real potential in our current climatic conditions and could be a viable new industry on a broadacre scale which is an exciting proposition," he said.
"NT farmers looks forward to working with Government to facilitate some meaningful trials in the NT to explore the full potential of industrial hemp."