Taskforce to investigate hemp for industrial uses

The potential for hemp fibres to be used in industry is the subject of a new taskforce, created by the Victorian government.

Today, the food industry uses hemp products, however, the taskforce hopes to expand the number of industries that can use the environmentally friendly and sustainable product.

“Hemp has huge potential in so many applications – and we’re keen to find out how Government can support the industry to grow, creating jobs for regional Victorians,” said Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes.

So far, research has inquired into the potential of hemp for use in textiles, bio-composite plastics, papers, automotive, construction, bio-fuel, oil, and cosmetics. The industrial sectors will be the subject of the taskforce’s inquiries.

“Industrial hemp is an emerging industry, and we’re excited to work out the best way to harness that potential and turn it into economic benefit for Victoria – particularly regional Victoria,” said Victorian MP, Ali Cupper.

With the support of Agriculture Victoria, the taskforce will see how other jurisdiction have used hemp to create alternative raw materials. Then, the taskforce will report on its findings to the Victorian parliament, as well as industry participants.

“This will be a great opportunity for us to better understand the industry and the regulations surrounding industrial hemp, and then consider if changes are needed to grow the sector,” said Victorian MLC, Fiona Patten.

The taskforce is empowered to engage directly with industry, participants and research organisations. The Victorian government will look into how it can support the development of industrial uses of hemp based on the taskforce’s report.

Currently, those interested in producing industrial hemp can apply for a licence, issued by Agriculture Victoria. In 2019 the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was amended to allow low-THC hemp hulled seeds to be sold as, or used as, an ingredient in food.