Hemp task force in Australian state focuses on industrial uses

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The Australian state of Victoria has named a three-member task force to explore the industrial uses of hemp, the government said this week. 

“Hemp has huge potential in so many applications, and we’re keen to find out how government can support the industry to grow,” said Jaclyn Symes, the state’s Agricultural Minister. She is joined by MPs Fiona Patten and Ali Cupper on the task force.

Strictly industrial uses

The government charged the panel with developing a report that will look at the regulatory and licensing framework around growing hemp, and give a state-of-the-industry report. The task force is specifically to look at industrial uses for hemp rather than health or therapeutic applications, the government said.

Victoria is already a producer of hemp seeds after they were cleared as a food product under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in 2017.

Harnessing potential

But the task force will look at further opportunities in fiber, biocomposites, paper, automotive applications, construction, biofuel and innovation, according to the government.

Cupper said the task force would provide a “great opportunity” to better understand the hemp industry and regulations surrounding industrial hemp.

“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,” Cupper said.

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