Production of industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa (i.e. low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp), has rapidly spread throughout the world due to the plant’s multiple uses and broad adaptability, including in building materials, textiles, paper, rope, fuel, oil, stockfeed and human food. The value of the global industrial hemp market was estimated at $6.58 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% from 2022 to 2030.
Currently, Canada, China, the United States of America (US), France and Chile are the top-five hemp-producing countries. In Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales are the leading states for hemp production, however there is limited data available on the potential of industrial hemp production and trade in northern Australia.
To guide decision-making around investment in hemp production and trade in northern Australia, a decision tool for value chain stakeholders was developed. The decision tool, established through extensive literature reviews, data collection from evaluation trials and stakeholder consultation, will benefit industry stakeholders in northern Australia who are seeking to grow, process or market industrial hemp. Further, it will assist in the evaluation of expenditure, income, industry challenges and solutions for each of the four identified hemp value chains.