Industrial Hemp Act Review

​​​The production of Industrial Hemp in Tasmania is regulated under the Industrial Hemp Act 2015 (‘the Act’). The Act allows research, cultivation, supply, and production of industrial hemp under a licensing scheme administered by Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. The purpose of the regulation aims to enable industrial hemp crops to be easily differentiated from medicinal and illegal cannabis crops.

It is more than five years since the Act was drafted. To ensure that the regulatory environment is proportionate to the needs of this growing industry, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania is conducting a review of the Act and supporting regulations and policy (‘the Review’).

The Tasmanian Government supports regulation that is proportionate, consistent, transparent, and targeted. As outlined in the Competitiveness of Tasmanian Agriculture for 2050 White Paper there is an initiative to “work with the hemp industry to explore options to support future growth and streamline regulation”.

The Department has appointed a Steering Committee with members from relevant Agencies to lead the Review. The key aspect of this review is the engagement and discussion with key industry stakeholders and the wider community in a phased approach to gain a good understanding of interactions with the Act and highlight future opportunities.

Extensive consultation was undertaken with industry and key stakeholders prior to the initial development of the Act in 2015. Informal discussions have been conducted at several points leading up to this review.

The first phase of reviewing the Act involves a call for submissions from targeted key stakeholders; those groups identified as having the potential to be impacted operationally by the Review. Key stakeholders will be encouraged to make submissions on the areas of possible changes highlighted in a call for submissions paper by 5pm Friday 11 February 2022.

Phase 2 will include further consultation including with the broader public on the draft Bill, which will be developed in response to feedback received during Phase 1.

Scope of the Review

The Review will consider opportunities to update and modernise the Industrial Hemp Act 2015 since it commenced approximately 5 years ago. It will also consider activities with Industrial Hemp that were not contemplated when the Act was drafted. The Review will focus on three broad areas:
  1. Update existing definitions to clarify scope of regulation, considering ongoing changes in the industry.
  2. Clarify the interaction of the Act with other legislation. 
  3.  Assess the Act to ensure the level of regulation remains proportionate to risk.
The Review will not consider:​
Medicinal and recreational cannabis production
The Review will not consider amendments to the Act for the production of cannabis for medicinal and associated scientific uses. Only the Australian Government, through the Office of Drug Control (ODC), can authorise the production and supply of cannabis products for the purposes of curing or alleviating the symptoms of a disease, ailment, or injury. 

The Review will not consider the regulation of crops for commercial recreational cannabis or personal cultivation; this remains an illegal activity.

Licencing fees
The Review notes the Act retains provisions to charge a fee for industrial hemp licences. Currently, there are no fees associated with licence applications. The Review will accept suggestions on this topic, but it is not within the specific scope of the review.

Further Information

For further assistance please phone: FarmPoint 1300 292 292 or email farmpoint@nre.tas.gov.au​

Contact

FarmPoint
PO Box 46
Kings Meadows TAS 7249
Phone: 1300 292 292
Fax: (03) 6777 5100
Email: farmpoint@nre.tas.gov.au
Website: http://farmpoint.tas.gov.au