Different rules for different states
Even though each state has allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp under a license, each state has some different rules and regulations. Below is some more information about each state’s rules and regulations.
New South Wales
The cultivation and supply of low-THC hemp for fibre and seed production in NSW is regulated and authorised by the Hemp Industry Act 2008. In NSW, low-THC hemp is classified as having no more than 1% THC in the leaves and flowering heads of the plant. This may be cultivated under license, but seeds must be supplied under the basis it produces no more than 0.5% THC in the leaves and flowering heads, and a license must not supply hemp that exceeds 1% THC. For more information, head to the NSW Department of Primary Industries page on the NSW Hemp Industry.
In Victoria, low-THC cannabis is defined as the leaves and flowering heads containing no more than 0.35% THC under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances act 1981. A license must be acquired to grow industrial cannabis in Victoria. The licensee can only sow seeds harvested from a low-THC cannabis crop with a THC level of less than 0.35%. Additionally, Agriculture Victoria cannot authorise the processing of leaves and flowering heads where cannabinoids (CBD) are found. Similarly, a hemp license issued cannot authorise activities related to the therapeutic use of cannabis either. More information can be found on Agriculture Victoria’s Industrial Hemp page.
Commercial industrial cannabis may be grown under a Grower license. However, the plants grown for seed or fibre must not exceed 1% THC and can only be grown from seeds certified to produce plants with no more than 0.5% THC. This allows for the environmental conditions beyond the grower’s control that may variation in THC concentrations in leaves and flowering heads of the plant. For more information, visit Business Queensland’s page on growing industrial cannabis or hemp in Queensland.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) must issue a license to the applicant in order to cultivate industrial hemp. The Industrial Hemp Act 2017 requires industrial hemp to be grown from certified seed with a concentration of THC in leaves and flowering heads that do not exceed 0.5%. Industrial hemp must not exceed 1% THC in leaves and flowering heads, otherwise, it can potentially be referred for criminal investigation under the Controlled Substances Act 1984. For more information on industrial hemp production in South Australia, visit the Government of South Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regions.
In the Northern Territory, a licence is required to possess, cultivate, process or supply industrial hemp. Similarly, a licence is also required to conduct research into the production of hemp seed or stem fibre. Industrial hemp grown must be from an approved hemp seed that will typically produce hemp plants with a THC concentration in the leaves and flowering heads of not more than 0.5%. For more information, access the Hemp Industry Act 2019 and the Hemp Industry Regulations 2020.
Under the Industrial Hemp Act 2004, the leaves and flowering heads of the cannabis must not contain more than 1.0% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Licenses to cultivate, harvest and process industrial hemp on a commercial scale is processed through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Learn more about industrial hemp in Western Australia through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
The Industrial Hemp Act 2015 necessitates the issue of license for growing industrial hemp in Tasmania. Under the act, industrial hemp can only be grown from certified hemp seed that will typically produce hemp plants with a concentration of THC in leaves and flowering heads of not more than 0.5%. Similarly, industrial hemp has to be grown from certified hemp seed and has to have a concentration of THC of no more than 1% in its leaves and flowering heads. For more information visit the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment’s page on Industrial Hemp Production in Tasmania.