Recently, new marijuana laws have been passed in Canberra that could change the Australian economic landscape. The State Government passed a law that will be active on January 31st 2020. The law allows individuals to carry 50g of dry cannabis with them and to grow up to 4 marijuana plants in their households. The law began after a survey was conducted which found that 54% of people in Canberra supported the use of marijuana.
But the main thing we at GHM are after, is the affect this new law will have on the industrial hemp market. Hemp is currently grown in every state in Australia, however, farmers needs a special license issued by the state government to grow hemp. Those who do grow, have to agree to random inspections to ensure codes are being up-kept.
The Australian Hemp industry brought in $300,000 in 2011-12 but is predicted to be bringing in at least $3 million by 2023. To put in perspective, the American hemp industry brings in $150 million every year in gross revenue, so we have a lot to catch up on.
However, this law in Canberra may change things. If marijuana can be grown for personal use, action can be called for the legal farming of hemp throughout Australia. Especially in the environmental crisis Australia is going through right now with the drought in the regional parts of the country. Hemp could replace cotton for certain farmers. It’s cheaper to plant and requires significantly less water to grow than cotton.
Overall, hemp is a growing industry and one that could greatly benefit Australia both economically and environmentally.
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