Applicants can apply to DPIPWE for a licence. A National Police Check is required.
Licences can be issued if DPIPWE is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be involved in the industrial hemp industry.
There are five industrial hemp licence types that can be issued in Tasmania with viable industrial hemp:
2. A licence to cultivate provides authorisation to:
3. A licence to manufacture provides authorisation to:
4. A licence to research provides authorisation to supply, cultivate or manufacture industrial hemp as outlined above for research purposes.
5. A combined licence provides authorisation to undertake multiple activities to supply, cultivate or manufacture industrial hemp under a single licence for research or commercial purposes.
When is a licence not required?
An industrial hemp licence is not required to possess, manufacture or supply:
- Non-viable industrial hemp seeds
- Products derived from industrial hemp seeds (e.g. industrial hemp seed oil)
- Harvested industrial hemp stalks that have been stripped of their leaves, flowers and seeds
- Processed products derived from industrial hemp stalks (e.g. textiles, building materials).
Why do I need a licence?
Industrial hemp plants often have the same visual appearance as higher THC producing varieties of cannabis. A licensing scheme provides a distinction between the legal cultivation of industrial hemp by licensed growers, and cannabis crops grown as an illicit drug. Independent crop testing is conducted by authorised DPIPWE inspectors to verify that the THC content of all industrial hemp crops meets legal requirements.
How long does my licence last?
Up to five years.
How much does a licence cost?
There are no licence fees.
Is there a limit to the number of licences that can be issued?
Is there a minimum or maximum area that can be cultivated under a licence?
Once I have a licence can I grow low-THC cannabis wherever I want?
No. The licence holder must only cultivate at the premises described on the licence and Intent to Grow. A licensee may apply to amend a licence to add new areas.
Do I need to own the property where I propose to grow low-THC cannabis?
No, but the department may require proof that you are fully responsible for the management of the crop whilst it is being cultivated (e.g. evidence of a lease).
Why do I need a police check?
When lodging an application for an Industrial Hemp Licence, a National Police check is required. The National Police check is to be an original or certified copy of a current (within the last three months) National Police check and can be obtained from Criminal History Services Tasmania or online.
If the applicant has lived for some or all of the last ten years outside Australia, a police clearance for the relevant country must be obtained.
Can I apply for both a licence to cultivate industrial hemp and a licence to manufacture on the one application?
Yes. Licences can be issued for a combination of activities.
Why do I need to complete an annual intent to grow form for years 2-5 for cultivation when I have a five year licence?
Licences to cultivate are issued for up to five years.
Crop information, such as location, seed variety and crop size, changes from year to year so needs to be provided to the Department on an annual basis to ensure that adequate compliance activity can be undertaken.
It also provides the opportunity for licence holders to confirm they will not be growing in a particular season.
The forms are prepopulated so there should be of minimal disruption to industry.
How do I find paddock coordinates?
The coordinates are located on the bottom left hand side of the page and are listed as a six digit number followed by the letter ‘E’ and a seven digit number followed by the letter ‘N’.
Why do all industrial hemp crops need to be tested for THC?
A requirement of the cultivation licence conditions is for every industrial hemp crop grown to be tested for levels of THC at the expense of the grower. This is required as evidence that the industrial hemp crop is being produced with THC levels below 1% as required by the Act and regulations.
Agronomic factors such as soil type, nutrition, sunlight hours and moisture can all influence THC levels and result in levels rising above 1% unintentionally. Testing also provides authorities with evidence that illegal (high THC) forms of cannabis are not being grown.
Usually one sample will be collected for each crop sown except where multiple crops of the same variety and seed source are sown on the same property and these sowings are sufficiently similar.
Research trials and breeding programs with multiple treatments will still need to be inspected but testing will be on a random ad-hoc basis.
What happens if my crop has not been sampled?
If you think that your crop has not been sampled please notify DPIPWE.
Sampling and testing results can be required for industrial hemp to be sold and exported so further testing would be required if this initial test is missed.
What happens if my test result is over 1%?
The likely cause of the elevated THC level will be important in determining what action will be taken, as agronomic factors outside the licence holder’s control may be responsible. Crops found to exceed the 1% THC level will be destroyed in accordance with the Act at the discretion of DPIPWE and Tasmania Police.
What happens if I don’t comply with the Act and licence conditions?
Non-compliance with the Act and licence conditions can result in the suspension or cancellation of a licence.
Where can I source certified industrial hemp seed?
The licence holder is responsible for finding industrial hemp seed.
DPIPWE is not a seed supplier and is unable to assist with the acquisition of seed.
Industrial hemp seed may be available from one of the hemp seed retailers located within Tasmania or interstate.
Seed can also be imported but additional costs may be incurred due to the import requirements of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Office of Drug Control and Biosecurity Tasmania.
Regardless of the source of industrial hemp seed, it must be certified.
Who can I sell my industrial hemp to?
The licence holder is responsible for finding a market for the industrial hemp seed and/or plant material cultivated under the licence.
Viable industrial hemp seed and plant material that includes leaves, flowers and seeds can only be supplied to a person authorised to possess industrial hemp.
Can food produced from industrial hemp seed be sold for human consumption?
The sale of food derived from the seeds of industrial hemp in Australia became legal on 12 November 2017.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand approved that industrial hemp seed foods are safe for consumption provided they contain no more than the prescribed THC level.
Hemp seed foods may provide a useful alternative dietary source of nutrients and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
Leaves, flowering heads and other parts of the low-THC hemp plant must not be sold as food for human consumption.
Is hemp seed oil a drug?
No. Hemp seed oil is an extract of cannabis seeds and does not contain any extracts from the cannabis plant. In addition, hemp seed oil does not contain anything more than trace amounts of cannabinoids. If the label of a 'hemp seed oil' product states that it contains cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), it is not hemp seed oil. The product may have been mislabelled, mixed with hemp oil or adulterated with other cannabinoids.
Hemp oil that is a medicinal cannabis product may only be accessed by prescription from a medical specialist who has been granted Special Access Scheme Approval or is an Authorised Prescriber.
Products must be legally produced and manufactured to appropriate quality standards. Commonwealth approval to supply and, where necessary, import a medicinal cannabis product is granted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of Drug Control
How is industrial hemp different to marijuana?
The very low concentration of THC in industrial hemp plants means they have none of the psychoactive (mind altering) effects associated with illicit cannabis varieties with higher THC concentrations (often called marijuana).
How is industrial hemp different to medicinal cannabis?
The term medicinal cannabis covers a range of approved, quality assured cannabis pharmaceutical grade products intended for human therapeutic use, such as tablets, oils, tinctures and other extracts.
The cultivation, production and manufacture of medicinal cannabis is regulated by the Commonwealth Government under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 by the Office of Drug Control
If the licence applicant has a poppy licence and would like to align the periods of their poppy grower’s and industrial hemp licences so that a single police check can be used for both applications, the applicant can provide details of their poppy licence and both licences will be issued for the same period.