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Final moves underway to legalise industrial hemp in SA

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Draft regulations for the growing and processing of industrial hemp in South Australia have been released today, with the State Government hoping to have the regulatory framework in place by the end of the year.

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The regulations, which establish a licensing regime and conditions for cultivating and processing hemp, are the final step in the process to make the crop legal in South Australia.

Industrial hemp, produced from cannabis plants that provide no psychotropic effects if consumed, can be used to make a wide range of products from clothes and cosmetics to construction materials. From later this year, it will be legal to use industrial hemp in food products.

Legislation to legalise the crop was passed by State Parliament in April, with the state following similar moves in Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and NSW.

The Government said today it would hold information sessions on the draft regulations over the coming weeks in Adelaide, Mt Gambier, Loxton and Port Lincoln.

Feedback closes on August 25 and the Government plans to table the final regulations before the end of the year.

The Government has established an Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis as a single point of contact for industry.

The regulations require licence holders to provide information to the Government – such as the origin of seed and the GPS coordinates of the cultivation area – as well as adhere to certain conditions, such as destroying plants found growing outside the cultivation area within seven days.

Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said industrial hemp was “an exciting new agricultural enterprise for South Australia”.

“The opportunity to cultivate or process industrial hemp, once the regulatory framework is in place, will allow farmers and processors to diversify their enterprise,” he said in a statement.

Details of the information sessions can be found here. Read the draft regulations here.

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