Industrial hemp taskforce
On 29 August 2019, the then Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes announced that she had formed a taskforce to explore the industrial hemp industry and examine industry challenges and opportunities.
The taskforce engaged directly with industry stakeholders, participants and research organisations to gain a thorough understanding of the industry and how Victoria can maximise its economic potential.
The taskforce was made up of:
- Minister Thomas, Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development
- Ali Cupper, MP Member for Mildura
- Fiona Patten, MP Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
- Agriculture Victoria
The taskforce focused strictly on the industrial use of hemp rather than the therapeutic use.
Industrial hemp taskforce terms of reference
The taskforce terms of reference:
- examine information from key stakeholders on the current state of the industry, issues, barriers and opportunities
- consider uses of industrial hemp in other jurisdictions and appropriate learnings for Victoria
- examine how the Victorian Government can support industry development and growth across Victoria
- examine the regulatory and licencing framework for hemp cultivation and hemp products
- consider any other relevant matters
The taskforce released its interim findings in 2020 which highlighted a range of opportunities including the potential use of hemp for the building, food, beverage, cosmetic and pet food industries. Challenges to be addressed include a lack of processing capability, regulatory barriers, knowledge gaps in crop varieties and agronomy, as well as data gaps to support business viability.
Download a copy of the report
On 31 May 2023, the Legislative Council passed a motion that the Economy and Infrastructure Committee to conduct an inquiry into the industrial hemp industry in Victoria. More detail can be found at the Parliament of Victoria website.