Australian Industrial Hemp Strategic RD&E Plan (2022-2027)

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The industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) industry is experiencing strong growth, with new technologies improving production and a range of value-added products being developed.

Industrial hemp, i.e. low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp, has a wide range of applications, including textiles, paper, rope, fuel, oil and stockfeed, as well as building materials, cosmetics and pet food. In Australia, the industrial hemp industry is in its infancy, trailing Canada, China and the European Union in terms of scale and value of production.

The development of a Strategic Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan is a crucial step in growing the Australian industrial hemp industry. The industry requires an increase in the scale of production, access to regionally suitable varieties, better understanding of the agronomy, more efficient mechanisation for harvesting and processing, and established long-term markets before hemp starts to become a valuable crop in Australia.

This Strategic RD&E Plan is the result of extensive research and stakeholder consultation across the Australian industrial hemp industry, and pulls together specific recommendations for future investment to support the long-term growth of the industry.

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