Hemp stance lauded

Therese ColmanAugusta Margaret River Times

Margaret River Hemp Co owner Georgina Wilkinson says the State Government’s decision to boost WA’s hemp industry by loosening laws around tetrahydrocannabinol levels is a step in the right direction.

The McGowan Government would amend the Industrial Hemp Act to allow hemp to be grown with a THC content of one per cent, up from 0.35 per cent.

The Margaret River region has been earmarked for the potential growth industry.

Ms Wilkinson, in Melbourne last week for the Australian Industrial Hemp Conference, told the Times she was pleased to see standards match other States.

“I was invited to a roundtable discussion with Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan the other week where she ensured us she’d be there to help with any red tape or bureaucracy we would come across,” she said.

“WA has a strong presence in the hemp grower’s industry, and it’s fantastic to see us in line with other States.”

She said the main problem local hemp growers faced was if a crop measured above 0.35 per cent, they had to destroy that harvest.

“The THC percentage has to be 18 per cent for it to have any effect during consumption anyway,” she said.

“It is easier for all operators and makes it smoother for all States to be aligned at one per cent.”

Ms MacTiernan said interest in WA’s hemp industry had never been higher.

“The first WA hemp food and drink products are appearing in the market, and we want to support development of this job-creating industry,” she said.

“This amendment will bring WA into line with national standards, and allow our producers to grow a far greater variety of hemp products in WA.

“We see 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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