Industrial hemp in Western Australia

Page last updated: Thursday, 26 May 2022 - 10:58am

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) has been grown in WA for many years and is gaining interest due to recent changes in food standards allowing human consumption of hemp seed in Australia.

Industrial hemp production is regulated in Western Australia under the Industrial Hemp Act 2004. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development acts as the registrar for the act.

What is industrial hemp?

The Industrial Hemp Act 2004 states that 'industrial hemp' means cannabis, the leaves and flowering heads of which do not contain more than 1.0% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These low levels of THC mean that industrial hemp plants do not have the psychoactive effects associated with prohibited cannabis varieties (marijuana) nor medicinal varieties harvested for THC and CBDs.

Industrial hemp is a versatile crop which can be cultivated for both fibre and seed production. Fibre and hurd can be extracted from the stem, and seeds can be hulled and eaten, or pressed for omega rich oil and protein rich powder.

Opportunities for hemp products are vast including building materials (hempcrete walls, hemp fibre panels and sheets), textiles (clothing), animal fodder and bedding, oil and food. The challenge for WA businesses is identifying hemp products we can produce profitably and competitively. 

Contacts 

Industry development and agronomy:

  • Don Telfer, Development officer, +61 (0)429 014 063

Agronomy and DPIRD trials:

Industrial hemp licensing: 

Industry bodies

Further reading

Manjimup hemp processing prefeasibility study

The Manjimup hemp processing prefeasibility report was commissioned by the Manjimup Agriculture Expansion Project, jointly steered by Shire of Manjimup, DPIRD, South West Development Commission and the Southern Forests Food Council. The work was completed by Strategy Matrix in 2017-18.

The report considers production of hemp fibre and seed, supply chain and markets for hemp products. The reports of Stage 1 and 2 of the prefeasibility, and a comprehensive literature review is now available to download by filling out the webform on the page Manjimup hemp processing prefeasibility report.

New Opportunities in new & emerging agricultural industries in Australia

Coriolis Australia Pty Ltd. prepared this report for AgriFutures Australia in 2017. It contains a comprehensive scan of opportunities for Australian new and emerging agricultural industries, detailing 20-30 priority opportunities (including hemp) for new rural industry development. The report is available on the AgriFutures Australia website.

Pages

Contact information

Don Telfer
+61 (0)8 9368 3553