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Sustainability can become a concern in recent years, and people are moving towards reducing their footprint at home – to improve the environment and save the earth. Reducing waste has become somewhat of a trend in the last 5-10 years, mainly because sustainability movements have gained momentum. People are beginning to care more about how what they use affects the environment. 

You can help reduce your personal footprint on the planet by integrating some of the following tips in your life. 

Use Reusable, Fabric-based Shopping Bags

While plastic is cheaper to manufacture, it causes pollution due to being made with oil-based materials. Many recycling companies don’t accept common plastics since it’s tough to recycle plastic and litter the environment. 

Alternatively, Fabric-based shopping bags are more environmentally friendly and can be recycled. Shopping bags made with hemp, cotton, or jute are more durable than plastic and reusable even after they get dirty – you can just wash them to clean stains or remove odours. 

Switch out Plastic Hygiene Products for Metal, Glass, Paper Packaging Where Possible

You’ll find different packaging types in most stores and are often in the form of plastic – the most commonly used packaging material. Plastic is used to deliver single-use items to consumers but leads to many problems like litter and atmospheric pollution. It’s also detrimental to your health since the containers can be coated with harmful substances. 

Paper, metal, and glass are better packaging options since you can recycle them. While paper is a good choice for storing solid food, it can’t, sadly, hold liquids. That’s where the glass comes in. Glass is a non-toxic way to keep food, both solid and liquid since it isn’t coated with harmful materials. 

Ditch Cheap, Fast-fashion, and Invest in Quality Products that will Last

Have you noticed how easily a cheap dress you brought gets ruined after just one go? This is the result of fast fashion trends. Fast fashion has been designed to be affordable, in-style at the moment, and expendable. These cheap clothes are only good for a short amount of time. Fast fashion also promotes litter, and the manufacturing of clothes increases the carbon content, and also the chemicals used contaminate water.

In the long run, fast fashion is disadvantageous to your finances. By buying high-quality products made with substances like hemp and cotton, you can save money since the product will be reusable and still good as new if you take care of them. 

Buy Food in Bulk Instead of Weekly

Single-use packaging has become the norm in shopping centres, but it adds to environmental pollution and littering. Using plastic items to hold things like honey is cheaper, but it adds to wastage since you can’t recycle it. 

Instead of buying food items that are contained in a single-use container weekly, you should purchase food items in bulk. You can buy food in bulk at local grocery shops with bulk sections and farmer markets. You can take reusable containers like glass jars to store dry fruits and a poreless shopping bag for flour and other grains. 

Don’t Buy Bottled Water.

Bottled water is convenient when you’re out of the house in a place that doesn’t have water but leads to more waste. Water bottles are usually single-use products made with plastic and so cause a recycling issue in most countries. 

Bottled water may have added minerals and essential salts, but harmful chemicals coated onto bottles, usually older bottles, can mix with the water, and the water can even be contaminated.

Tap water, on the other hand, can be boiled or filtered and stored in metal or glass containers. It is cheaper and significantly more environmentally friendly. 

Refuse Single-use Items.

Single-use items are items packed in plastic packaging that is only to be used once, and then you throw the packaging away. Such items include plastic straws, plastic wrap, plastic shopping bags, and plastic cups.

Instead of using these items that lead to more waste in oceans and landfills, you should use things that you can reuse many times.  Alternatives include products like glass containers, reusable water bottles, and stainless steel or paper straws. Using items that you can use multiple times helps to save money and promotes sustainable living. 

Take Some Accountability – Do You Need This Product?

You found a trendy shirt in the shops, and you just had to buy it, so you bought it even though manufacturers made it with poor quality material, which irritates your skin and will be thrown away after a couple of uses.  This is the very definition of impulse buying. You buy something on the get-go and then realise your mistake. The product then ends up being discarded, so buying it was just a waste of money and hurt the planet.

Instead of buying the first thing you like, take a moment to think about whether you need this item or not. Better yet, make a solid budget and stick to it. When you see something you just can’t live without, give yourself some time to calm your emotions and then decide if you want to buy that item. This will help prevent impulse buying

Use Jars and Glass Bottles Instead of Plastic

Food items like honey, pickled veggies, milk, butter, and even nut-butters are usually stored in plastic containers. Still, since plastic containers are coated in unhealthy chemicals, they can seep into the food you have stored in the containers. 

A safer alternative method is to use glass bottles to hold milk and glass or metal jars to store butter, nuts, and pickles. Glass is also better for the environment, and glass doesn’t retain the smell or odour of foods you keep in it. 

Go Sustainable!

Moving towards reusable items, refusing single-use plastics, and avoiding bottled water reduces your footprint on the world.  Items made from glass, metal and paper are far more sustainable than plastic and reduce littering. 

Have you implemented any of these in your life yet?

The steady rise in bans on single-use packaging has resulted in a drastic increase in demand for sustainable packaging worldwide.  Businesses and industries alike are pushing hard for new bioplastic options to meet new consumer standards.  When it comes to Hemp packaging, we haven’t seen a whole lot of commercial-scale options yet.  However, being an optimal bioplastic source that is also a sustainable crop means that it probably isn’t too far off!  Not only can it be made into biodegradable packing options, but it also absorbs remarkable amounts of Co2 from the earth’s atmosphere.

Once the plant has been processed into seeds, oils, and clothing, you can often find residual plant matter, which has been coined as ‘Hemp Biomass’.  It has an extremely high cellulose content which makes it optimal for the manufacturing of bioplastics.  Furthermore, Hemp’s bast fibre can be used as a sustainable alternative for making paper, cardboard, and other fibre-based packaging options.  Hemp can produce 4x the amount of the compounds used to make paper than trees can, whilst growing between 10-40x faster.  

Isn’t that something!?

Here are some reasons that Hemp is geared to be a preferred method of sustainable packaging in the future;

  1. Hemp plastic is significantly stronger than normal plastics, which makes it a hardy, safe option.  It’s also much lighter in weight!
  2. Hemp packaging is cheaper to produce than both traditional paper or plastic packaging.  Of course, due to the lack of commercial-scale production, you won’t see this reflected in the current market.
  3. We won’t necessarily need to build new infrastructure to shape the packaging once the raw materials have been made.  We can use existing moulds and machinery to produce everything – all we’ll need to do is substitute Hemp in the mix!
  4. Being a sustainable packaging option means that Hemp plastic can greatly offset the harmful side effects during or after production.  For example, Hemp plastic can decompose in 6-12 months – compared to as long as 1000 years for oil-based plastics!

Did you know that Henry Ford included Hemp in the body of the first car he ever made for Ford?  That’s right; this isn’t a new idea!  However, governments swept it under the rug due to the negative connotations surrounding cannabis.  Paying homage to the past (and the future), BMW, Mercedes Benz, and a range of other car manufacturers are now including Hemp fibre in the panels and shelves of their cars.  

Is there anyone reading this who wouldn’t want a stronger, more durable, sustainable option for their cars?  We doubt it!

Hemp Cardboard and Paper Packaging

Making Hemp Cardboard can be accomplished by lining Hemp sheets made with corrugated blanks, just like traditional cardboard.  All it takes is a bit of knowledge in papercraft and the necessary tools or machinery – this is all depending on the scale you’re going for!  In fact, your local box mill should have adequate infrastructure to undertake such a project.  Of course, you’re going to need the Hemp processed into bast fibre first, which seems to be the biggest restriction for this market to move forward at this point.

You could choose to use Hemp Cardboard for just about any purpose that normal types would – it’s just a lot more sustainable!  What’s more is that you can add gloss, UV, or matte coatings to make it all the more suitable for your immediate needs.  

Hemp Bioplastics for Packaging

The world is moving away from single-use plastic water bottles due to climate change, plastic pollution, & micro-plastics that we’re finding in both humans and animals.  And whether the plastic is single-use or multi-use, they’re still unsafe to similar extents.  Purchasing any plastic products encourages the market to supply more through increased demand.  From the point that normal plastics are manufactured to the moment they’re discarded into the environment, they’re causing damage. 

On the other hand, Hemp bioplastic bottles could be made with organically grown Hemp and, as mentioned previously, can decompose within six months.  This could be a great contribution to efforts aiming to fix problems caused by pollution from traditional plastic types!  The simple fact that the process is so clean and sustainable is enough of a reason to make the switch in itself. 

Hemp farming and processing is a cheaper and resource-lighter process than mining and manufacturing regular plastic. As such, it’s anticipated that Hemp bioplastic should decrease in price as soon as there are more commercial options.

Hemp plastic packaging is a magnificent solution to the world’s overuse of oil-based plastics.  They are eco-friendly, sturdier, safer, and weigh a lot less.  This saves on environmental damages, human health issues, and even transport costs!  As bioplastics are the way of the future, it’s only logical to see Hemp as a fix to this problem we’ve found ourselves with.

Conclusion: 

Hemp-based plastic is seeing a great deal of interest, and the use cases are only expanding.  Despite this solution being presented almost 80 years ago, we’ve only started to see the idea come to fruition in modern times.  This could transform the entire packaging industry and not only offer cheaper options but also more sustainable.  

The biggest question is: Who’s going to scale the production first?

 

For International Women’s Month, we want to take some time to celebrate some women who have made significant contributions to the Australian Hemp and Cannabis Industries.

When putting together the first installation in the series, we had the incredible opportunity to interview Klara from the Australian Hemp Masonry Company about her experience, career, and vision for the Australian Hemp Industry.

Klara Is a researcher and pioneer in the Australian Hemp Industry who has been working in the Hemp industry for 22 years.  She initially became interested in Hemp through her work with Greening Australia’s Billion Trees Project.  Klara was heavily involved in the Hemp varietal trials in 1999 that studied how Hemp grew in Australian conditions. Then, in 2000, she started looking into Hemp as a building material and founded the Australian Hemp Masonry Company. 

Klara’s journey in the Australian Hemp industry has been remarkable, and we undoubtedly consider her a ‘pioneer’ of the Australian Hemp Industry. If you haven’t heard of her work over the last 22 years, it’s our absolute pleasure to introduce you!

Australian Hemp Masonry

Coming from a family that was somewhat involved in the construction industry, Klara saw the significant issues first hand.  The number of trees cut down and the mounting carbon crisis that followed it… but she also saw a solution.  

The story begins with her working as the Labour Market Co-ordinator with Greening Australia on the Billion Trees campaign – a project intended to combat both deforestation and the creeping issue of greenhouse gas emissions.

After learning more about greenhouse gas emissions, Klara became greatly interested in Hemp due to its ability to manage carbon through carbon sequestration. Equipped with a whole new passion, Klara founded the Australian Hemp Masonry Company in 1999. She went on to profoundly investigate the potential for building materials made with Hemp from that point onwards.  

Klara’s Projects in the Australian Hemp Industry

Through the Australian Hemp Masonry Company, Klara has offered hundreds of Australians the opportunity to learn about and build with Hemp.  And believe it or not, it’s not limited to just construction professionals!  Hempcrete training programs are available to anybody, and you don’t necessarily need the experience to work with them.   One of the most incredible gems that Klara mentioned was that Hemp gives the everyday person the ability to build their own home.  Australian Hemp Masonry has seen Hemp Homes built with engineers, builders, architects, and entirely functional houses built by single women with a couple of brothers!  That’s right; these training sessions are running now – regardless of in which state you live.

Vision and hopes for the Australian Hemp Industry

Klara sees the Australian Hemp Industry growing steadily over the next 5-10 years and will continue to offer training sessions for homebuilders interested in Hempcrete – whether for professional or personal use.   She also noted that for the Australian Hemp Industry to thrive, we much more investment in infrastructure – and that takes money.  

There have been quite a few ‘false starts’ for the Australian Hemp Industry, which saw farmers plant crops that they couldn’t process locally. There are also high environmental costs for transporting Hemp from one state to another for processing.   For commercial-scale Hemp farming to be viable in Australia, we need not one but a couple of processing facilities in each state.  

Since the Hemp varietal trial that Klara participated in through 1999-2000, there has been a lack of movement in the fibre industry.  She noted that most of the interest is in low-THC flower for medicine (CBD) and Hemp Seed – and reasonably so!  The thing is that when these products are harvested, the fibre and hurd can still be used for things like housing and clothing.   If we start building Homes with these byproducts of Hemp, we’re going to be fighting the earth’s carbon crisis one wall at a time.

Wrap Up/Key Notes

Throughout her career, Klara has been involved in a significant number of studies and projects revolving around environmental management – in particular, the management of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.  Hemp showed a great deal of promise in these areas, which resulted in Klara’s dedication to the cause.  

For farmers who want to grow Hemp in Australia, Klara recommends that your top priorities should be

With over 200 houses now built through the Australian Hemp Masonry company and more than 100 builders trained to work with Hemp, it’s safe to say that Klara is a highly influential contributor to this space. 

What an incredible woman!  

For Women’s History Month, we want to take some time to celebrate some women who have made significant contributions to the Australian Hemp and Cannabis Industries. Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to have a chat with Lucy Haslam to get the lowdown on her experience, the current state of Australian Medicinal Cannabis, and what she’s up to this year. 

Since 2014, she has been at the forefront of the battle for medicinal cannabis for sick Australians.  Lucy became involved with medicinal cannabis when her son, Dan, was suggested to use it for his cancer treatment. She began her journey in the cannabis industry after seeing first hand how effective medicinal cannabis is for patients undergoing cancer treatment.  Before her son Dan tragically passed away, he asked Lucy to promise to fight until everybody who needs this medicine can access it easily.  

The journey is ongoing, and Lucy has continued to inspire leaps and bounds in the medicinal cannabis industry through the story of Dan, who brought one of the most blatant stories of the benefits of medicinal cannabis to Australia.

Continue reading to learn more about Lucy, Lou, and Dan’s story.

Doing It For Dan

Dan Haslam was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010, and the outlook for medicinal cannabis in Australia hasn’t been the same since.   Facing anticipatory nausea when thinking about chemotherapy, Dan was recommended cannabis by a friend, and initially, he wasn’t about it.  However, his mother, Lucy, and his father, Lou, had a different perspective on it:  “Why not give it a go?”

Lou was once the head of the drug task force in Northern New South Wales but opened to trying this ‘illegal drug’ for his son.  Suddenly, Lucy found herself trying to source medicinal cannabis so that Dan could have a fighting chance at a better quality of life.  One of the most beautiful depictions of the experience was the story of the first time Dan tried cannabis in the backyard and immediately asked for food afterwards.  Truly remarkable!  

Unfortunately, in 2014 Dan passed due to the illness.  All he asked is that his mum, Lucy, would continue the fight for cannabis access for patients who need it.  She pursued this with a burning passion and no hesitation.

Lucy’s Fight for Medicinal Cannabis In Australia

Lucy started United in Compassion as a non-for-profit that aimed to provide information and access to Australian patients.  Through united in compassion, they were the peak medical cannabis advisory that helped bring about the 2016 amendments to legislation that allowed lawful cultivation of medicinal and research purposes.  The philosophy behind the movement is “Dan’s Test”, which sets expectations of high quality, easy-to-access medicinal cannabis products with ”No Patient Left Behind”. 

“Every step we take on Medical Cannabis will be built on the footsteps Dan left behind” – Mike Baird, NSW Premier.

Since Dan left us, Lucy has continually generated awareness, provided education, and worked to change the laws surrounding Medicinal cannabis in Australia. 

One project we’re looking forward to this year is the annual Medicinal Cannabis Symposium held in August.  This is a three-day event that aims to teach doctors, nurses, aged care workers, natural health practitioners, and anybody else looking to learn how to prescribe and treat patients with cannabis products.  At this event, you can expect to find doctors, scientists, researchers, and activists who have been working with this plant for a large part of their career. 

If you’re interested in registering for the Medicinal Cannabis Symposium, it’s being hosted near the sunshine coast.  You can register here!

Current Laws for Medicinal Cannabis in Australia

In November last year, the Australian government moved CBD from a schedule 4 to a schedule 3 drug.  This was supposed to enable Australians to purchase CBD oil over the counter without a prescription.  It was a long-awaited amendment to the law but unfortunately ended up being a thin change. 

On the day the Australian government moved CBD to schedule 3, patients found that the move was a classic facade which resulted in the assumption that people could finally purchase the medicine they need – without breaking the law.   

After rushing to the closest pharmacy, hopeful patients were turned down and told that there is still another 6-24 months before CBD is available from a pharmacy. 

Unfortunately, some of these people might not be around to see it. 

It’s been over five years since we lost Dan, and the government is still dragging their feet, pretending to make a change but keeping things the same.

Wrap-Up/Final Words

People are still being prosecuted for improving their quality of life with a natural plant that’s been proven to alleviate symptoms and even cure disease…  But it’s more than that.  These people have had a ‘carrot dangled’ in front of them by the very collective meant to serve and protect their right to life.  Hearing this first hand from Lucy, who experienced the struggle first hand, was truly heartbreaking.  Her mission is almost complete, but she can’t rest yet.

Lucy won’t stop until her promise is fulfilled, and the persistence and determination shown is nothing less than breathtaking.  All we can do is hope that the Australian government can find it in them to come to a favourable decision regarding CBD and medicinal cannabis sooner rather than later.

With how much we talk about it, we’re sure you’ve heard of Hempcrete by now!  It’s great to see more awareness being spread about this incredible building material that we’re starting to see more of.  But it’s sudden presence is bound to raise many questions!

Before you start planning your dream house, we want to answer a few common enquiries people often have about Hempcrete and how it stacks up against concrete.  

Why should we choose Hempcrete over concrete for future homes?  What are the biggest benefits of Hempcrete?  Are there any disadvantages or anywhere that Hempcrete can’t be used?  

These are all great questions!  And instead of continuing to introduce this weeks topic, let’s just dive right in.

What is Hempcrete?

Hempcrete is an eco-friendly building material made with Hemp, used in construction by various civilizations throughout history.  The bast fibre of hemp is often used for clothing; Hemp building materials are made with the inner core – or the hurd.  Known for its superior properties for home development, Hempcrete is becoming a popular choice for the eco-conscious new home builder looking for a long-lasting, sustainable material for their property.  

How is Hempcrete Made?

Hempcrete is made by mixing Hemp Hurd (broken down through processing) with a binding agent and water.  Hempcrete can be easily laid to form a wide range of structures, most often made with completely natural materials – most notably houses.  We process our Hemp Hurd through our very own Australian Hemp Fibre Processing Facility right here in Margaret River, WA.  Once the hurd has been separated from the fibre, we can use the hurd, which present like wood-chips, in our completely natural Hemp housing projects.

What is Hempcrete Made Of?

Hempcrete can be made from a range of materials.  Most commonly, a lime binder and water is added to a mixer with Hemp Hurd.  Other ingredients that can be used in addition to the lime binding agent when time constraints involved are;

At our sibling company Hemp Homes Australia, we use a 100% natural mixture of Hemp, Lime (from limestone) and water to make our Hemp Houses in Western Australia!

Advantages of Hempcrete

And so much more!

What is Concrete?

Despite what many would imagine, Concrete is a relatively new building material compared to Hempcrete blends.  It is far less environmentally friendly, and cannot be disponsed of in landfill due to the toxic chemicals required to build with it.  Concrete is most commonly most commonly made with water, limestone, sand, and even stone.  Once mixed, it is heated at 1450 degrees celsius and must remain at high temperatures until it is poured on the desired site. 

There is a wide array of health risks associated with working with concrete (or cement) due to the level of exposure to toxic chemicals and harsh ingredients.  From physical to mental illnesses, concrete has wreaked havoc on a generation of builders.

Summary: Hempcrete vs Concrete

When comparing the two building materials, it’s important to keep the different case uses in mind.  As the field currently stands, we cannot accurately compare the two for building large structures due to the lack of research and building larger, hemp-reinforced commercial structures.  However, what we can do is compare the two in building houses.

Houses made with concrete have a much shorter lifecycle than Hempcrete, and concrete lacks the reusability offerings that hemp has.  Immediately, this makes Hempcrete the more attractive option for anybody looking for long-lived housing that can be repurposed or disposed of – if the situation required such actions.  Most notably, there is a Hempcrete building in Japan that has been standing for over 300 years.  Could you find a concrete house that’s been standing for 300 years?  We don’t think so!  

When it comes to the environmentally-friendliness of Hempcrete vs concrete, Hempcrete will once again present as the most desirable option.  Not only did your Hemp home sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during growth, but it continues to absorb roughly 108kg/m³ of Hemp+lime material over its lifetime once the structure has been made. It locks this carbon in for life, and when the material breaks down in the environment, it returns the carbon dioxide to the soil sediment – back to where it belongs!

In terms of the health benefits of Hempcrete up against concrete, it’s another no-brainer.  Hemp materials breathe, which means that moisture isn’t being trapped and allowed to mould throughout the house’s lifetime – unlike concrete.  Once concrete sets, moisture is trapped, and it can often cause mould.  Mould in homes is often responsible for allergies and illness.  Hempcrete is hypoallergenic, so those with allergies will breathe much easier knowing that their Hempcrete home is going to keep them healthy, happy, and in high spirits.

Wrap-Up

So that’s it, folks!  Some of the most pressing questions about Hempcrete – answered.  We hope this encompassed the topic well, and answered any queries you might have about our favourite building material.  If you’re considering building your home with hemp, please get in touch with Australian Hemp Masonary if you’re on the East Coast of Australia and reach out to us or Hemp Homes Australia if you’re on the West!

If you have any more questions, please drop a comment and let us know so we can get back to you.

Farming Industrial Hemp in Australia is a relatively new concept to a large number of people, and that’s okay – That means progress!  If you’re just looking at starting a Hemp Farm in Australia, skip past this introduction and get right to the juicy stuff! First, we’re going to clear up a few common misconceptions that we have noticed when it comes to farming this incredible crop in our country.

Due to the presence of the psychoactive compound THC, cannabis species’ received quite a bad reputation.  This led to the criminalisation of the entire family.  However, recent revelations have exposed a massive industrial potential for Hemp, and Australia has been looking to get back on board!  

With the confusion that already surrounds THC and CBD, an industrial layer complicates things.  It’s not surprising so many people think Hemp can’t be grown in Australia!  

…But it can.  And this week we want to show you everything it takes to become a Hemp Farmer in Australia – state by state.  

Let’s get started!

Ideal Growing Conditions for Hemp in Australia

What conditions does Hemp grow best in?

Hemp grows best in tropical and subtropical climates that get at least 600mm of rainfall every year with quite a bit of humidity.  Due to this, it’s generally grown through summer-autumn.  However, Hemp has been known to adapt to almost any environment.

A wide range of climates have ‘landraces’ that essentially adapted to the environment – a massive testament to this plant’s versatility. A great example of this is the cannabis Ruderalis species native to Russian territory where the land is frozen over for around 8-9 months of the year.  In response, this particular variant adapted to a three-month seed-to-flower lifecycle.  The plant drops seeds into the ground once matured, which freeze under the ice – ready for germination by next summer’s first melt.  Cool, huh?

What states in Australia have the best conditions for Hemp?

Tasmania grows the most Hemp in Australia, partly due to the cooler subtropical climates that would be optimal for Hemp growth.  Other states like VIC, SA, NSW, WA, and QLD can also meet these criteria.  Essentially, the further north you go, it could be tougher to grow Hemp due to the intense and dryness that starts to present through summer.  When looking into genetics that could grow well in these conditions, it could be worth looking towards genes sourced from dry, hot locations like Africa.  These variations could offer more drought-resistant traits than a landrace from Jamaica or Asia, for example.

In fact, there is progress in the field of Hemp genetics for Australia’s hotter environments. Professor David McNeil is from the UTAS and Department of Primary Industries and regional development is working to develop seed strains better suited to warmer and drier conditions in Australia’s north (North Queensland, Northern Territory)

Applying for Hemp Farming Licences in Australia

Queensland Hemp Farming Licence

There are three different types of Hemp licences you can go for in Queensland.  The three categories are ‘Grower’, ‘Researcher’, and ‘Seed handler’. Here, we will focus on the ‘Growers Licence’.  However, If you are a holder of any of these licences, you are required to keep records of your activities such as any industrial cannabis in your possession and how much you plant.  You are also prohibited from engaging in or supplying anybody with material that relates to any activities surrounding the production of a CBD oil or product from the leaf or flowering heads. 

The Requirements for a Hemp Growers Licence in Queensland are quite simple.  To be eligible, you must not have been declared bankrupt or convicted of a serious offence within the previous ten years. Of course, you should probably also own a reasonable amount of land unless you’re just doing it out of interest.  It should also have access to irrigation in case rainfall doesn’t quite do it.

If you’re looking for advice for processing Hemp as a Queensland farmer, consider getting in touch with Hemp Farms Australia. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction!

New South Wales Hemp Farming Licence

New South Wales allows the growth of low-THC Hemp if specific conditions are met by the applicant(s).  Once approved, you will be allowed to carry out activities related to the production of Hemp for commercial purposes, manufacturing processes, scientific research, or any other purpose outlined in the regulation.  Next  we’ll outline some of the more significant ones application requirements for New South Wales Hemp licences;

Unfortunately at this stage there are no Hemp processing facilities operating in New South Wales.  However, there will be a fibre processing facility that is estimated to be opening up sometime between now and the end of 2022 headed by Langdon Brown

South Australian Hemp Farming Licence

In South Australia, you are able to apply for three different types of Hemp licences: A Posession licence, a cultivation licence, or a processing licence.  Certified Hemp Seed must come from a plant that didn’t have leaf or flower that tested above 0.5% THC.  Independent tests must be undertaken for every crop, and if a plant tests above 1% THC, a criminal investigation may be opened.  

For those in South Australia who hope to process their Hemp, there are options!  Out of the two processing licences granted back in 2018, the most notable was Mick Anderson who set out to open a Hemp Seed processing facility in Borderdown under the licence that was granted.

Victorian Hemp Farming Licence

If you live in Victoria and want to farm Hemp, you must apply for a licence within your state as all others do.  Like every other state, this licence is for industrial breeds (non-therapeutic purposes).  The seed used to sow the crop must have come from plants that tested to less than 0.35% THC. Furthermore, leaf, flower, or any other part of the low-THC hemp must not be sold for human consumption.

In order to apply, you and all other applicants must provide a national police background check, credit report, business or research plan, and information about the area on which you plan to grow your Hemp.   An assessment of the farm is also often required.  

In Victoria, Australia Primary Hemp owns and operates one of the most prominent Hemp processing facilities in the country.   You can get in touch with them here to learn more about their services!

Tasmanian Hemp Farming Licence

In Tasmania, Industrial Hemp licencing is run by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment.  As with any other state, Tasmania requires a licence to cultivate low-THC Hemp varieties for any purpose whatsoever.  However, they have a range of licences available to choose from.  Tasmania allows the provision of licences for supply, cultivation, manufacturing, research purposes, or any mix of the aforementioned purposes. The DPIPWE will also require that you submit police background checks for you and all partners, as well as information regarding the site that you wish to grow your Hemp crop on.  

Processing your Hemp in Tasmania can be done thanks to people like Tim Crow from Hemp Harvests who opened up a Hemp processing facility in Tasmania that can process up to 3,000 tonnes of Hemp Seed every year!

Western Australian Hemp Farming Licence

Western Australia will also accept applications for prospective Hemp farmers who are hoping to get their foot in the door for participation in the newest crop industry in Australia.  The state maintains that the leaf, flower, or any other part of the plant must not contain any more than 1% THC or it will be classified as ‘Marijuana’.  To be eligible for this licence, you’re required to be over 18 years of age, be considered a ‘fit and proper person of good character and repute’, hold required qualifications, and have enough resources to carry out your proposed plan.

Hemp processing in Western Australia is about to get a whole lot easier with our brand new processing facility that just opened up!  If you’re in Western Australia and looking for Hemp processing services, please get in touch through our website or www.hemphomesaustralia.com.au

Choosing the right Hemp Genetics

One of the most crucial decisions to make when starting your Hemp farm is choosing the right Hemp genetics based on your environment.  The last thing you want is to get half way through your grow, and it gets destroyed by environmental factors that caused easily avoidable problems.  Things like pests, mould, frost, and drought can be detrimental to your crop.  Is your area prone to any of these?  Presumably, everywhere in the world has at least one ‘downfall’ when growing crops.  Luckily we have honed in on genetic selection and been able to beed environmental-resistant strains of Hemp – well, not totally.  

Generally you can pick from a couple of desirable traits that have been brought together into a viable crop breed.  Do you live in a hot, humid, muggy environment?  You’re going to want mould resistance.  Do you live in an area that has cold-snaps which can hurt crops that prefer moderate-higher temperatures?  You’ll want frost resistance.  And so on, so forth.  

You can also choose genetics that yield more of specific resources.  Say you want to farm for seed and want to achieve the highest possible yield per acre… you’re not going to want a fibre variety.  You’re going to want genetics that have been selected and bred over years to maximise the production of seed – without genetically altering the plant. If you want fibre, you’ll want a different variety entirely.  The same goes for flower.  Multi-purpose variants are also available, and we have no doubt genetic research will continue to provide strong options for Hemp farming as we move into the future.

It’s always best to consult the experts when it comes to selecting genetics!  please contact us, if you need further info or have any questions.

Wrap Up

We wanted to take a deeper dive into the state by state options for those who are hoping to participate in the Australian Industrial Hemp industry to show that it certainly is possible!  And it’s not the most unrealistic goal if it’s something you truly want to do.  Every state in Australia has open applications for Hemp farming, processing, and researching licences that you could get started on tomorrow.  No, you won’t be able to produce THC or CBD.  Yes, you will have to comply with strict testing standards.  But if you’re not breaking the rules, what’s the matter with that?

We all want the Hemp industry to continue to grow in Australia, and one of the key aspects of this industry is bound to be the exact same for Australia as in any other sector – export heavy.  The real economic potential will start to shine once we’re able to supply high quality, Australian Hemp products to the world.

So, what are you waiting for?  Let’s get started!

Hemp producers will now have more freedom under the new policies regarding acceptable THC levels before they are declared criminally negligent. The margin of error for federally mandated THC levels has increased from 0.5% to 1%.

Hemp farmers and testing agents can also get a longer time frame to harvest crops just after testing, with the ` raised from 15 days to 30 days just after the testing is done. The amendments have been made to consider unpredictable variables like testing, weather conditions, agricultural methods and equipment delays.

There are still several issues that the USDA didn’t seem to budge on, such as sampling specifications and the requirement for laboratories to enrol in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Federal farming rule makers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched final hemp production policies on Friday during the Trump Administration’s last week. 

The final guideline in line with public feedback from farmers and sector members regarding temporary hemp rules launched last 2019 starts to apply on March 22.

The enacted 2014 Farm Bill that states production rules will end on October 31, 2021, though 50% of the states are still running the hemp production programs until this date. After which, all state and tribal hemp production programs should follow the USDA’s final hemp production policies.

Sampling Specifications

Apart from expanding the harvest time frame from 15 to 30 days just after sampling, the USDA revised sampling specifications a bit.

Within the final rule, USDA retains its sampling requirement since THC is concentrated around the plant’s flower material. As recommended by many farmers and industry members, it is more appropriate to test the top of the plant compared to its other parts to get the homogenised whole-plant samples.

The requirement was revised slightly by having the sample be taken from about 5 to 8 inches coming from the “main stem,” “terminal bud,” or “central cola,” comprising the leaves as well as the flowers of the top flowering part of the plants.

The rule states that this modification is in line with the sampling methods in numerous states which created hemp programs according to the 2014 Farm Bill authority.

The final rule permits states and tribes to embrace a “performance-based approach to sampling” on their programs. USDA is maintaining the requirement that only specified agents could acquire samples.

Testing and Negligence

The agriculture regulators highlighted that they couldn’t raise the legal THC limit over 0.3% as it is a modification that should be left to Congress.

Despite this, the agency has changed how it will regulate negligence charges for farmers whose crops that test to more than 0.3% THC content.

Producers still have to get rid of plants beyond the 0.3% authorised limit. However, when the plant tests at or more than the limit, producers won’t be held criminally liable for a “negligent violation,” the first time that it occurs. The act could result in criminal drug charges if done again.

The final rule raises the negligence limit from 0.5% to 1% and offers producers the right to 1 negligent violation during the calendar year’s growing season. 

This means hemp farmers can focus more on what’s most important!

DEA Laboratory Requirement

Hemp should still be screened for THC level in the DEA-certified laboratory since the facilities can potentially manage cannabis which tests more than 0.3% THC in a dry weight basis, that’s my description, marijuana and a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

Then again, USDA officials realized that they don’t have enough DEA-certified laboratories all over the country for states to comply instantly, thus enforcement won’t start to apply till December 31, 2022.

Although the call to use DEA-certified labs will certainly frustrate a lot of producers, the USDA reported on its rule that since late 2018, several laboratories have requested to sign up and DEA is working hard to process all these requests.

Disposal Changes

Farmers notched an incomplete success on disposal and remediation processes for “hot hemp.”

The USDA states that hemp flowers that contain more than 0.3% THC must be eliminated. However, the rule right now permits farmers to hold and then sell other sections of the plant.

The rule states that Hemp producers must have the chance to remediate non-compliant crops to reduce financial risk from the loss of investment on their hemp harvest.

That is why this final rule permits removal activities, either getting rid of flower materials and salvaging the other parts of the plant or mixing the whole plant into biomass plant products.

On the other hand, the final rule doesn’t permit manufacturing procedures to extract THC from ‘hot’ hemp, making it legal, as a few people had wished.

Farmers such as Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller had already asked the government to give more choices for non-compliant hemp crops. According to Miller at the Texas Marijuana Policy Conference, it’ isn’t just right to eradicate the entire crop when you can find solutions to fix that concern.

The original rule called for authorities or a person authorised to deal with Schedule 1 substances to eradicate the plants off-site. The final version stands to the changes the agency first did in February, permitting farmers to or plough the non-compliant plants on their farms.

The USDA states the modification mainly made to reduce costs for law enforcement. As what the agency said, “We’re confident that any disposal methods make the crop unusable and so isn’t at risk for getting into any channel of business.”

USDA Provides Compliance Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the rules to grant producers enough time to get ready for the 2021 season, right after given authorisation from the White House Office of Management and Budget and other departments influenced by the changes.

USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach said that through the publication of this final rule, USDA has concluded a complete and transparent rule-making process which began with a hemp hearing session last March 2019.

USDA personnel took the details that the people provided on the three comment periods and the growing season’s experiences to create rules that satisfy Congressional purpose while offering a reasonable, consistent, science-based method for states, tribes well as individual producers.

Ibach also said that the USDA would provide the hemp sector with education and outreach to help them attain compliance with the requirements.

Early responses from business advocates showed satisfaction that USDA paid attention to public feedback and modified particular hemp production rules; however, the incoming Biden Administration will examine the final regulations.

Larry Farnsworth, a spokesperson for the National Industrial Hemp Council, said that they’d be expecting, as always in the case of new administrations that this rule would be among the many concerns that will be frozen on the very first day of the Biden Administration. “We look forward to working through these issues with the incoming Biden Administration and have all of this year to get it right before the 2014 authorities sunset”, he added.

This is great new’s for the Global Hemp Industry!  From this point onwards, it will be legal to use industrial Hemp products in food.  Mark this day!

Hemp Foods have been made LEGAL today!! This is an amazing result for Australia. We have finally caught up with the rest of the world, and it will have great results on lots of levels, for your health, as hemp is nutritious, and also for the farmers who now have a sustainable and viable crop to grow. Here at ‘Hemp Co’ we are on target to grow Hemp this year, that will now have a dual purpose. Fibre for our building materials to build houses and seeds for our Food products. It’s a win win all round, not just for here in the South West of WA, but for the whole of Australia. It’s been a long 20 years of lobbying government! Common sense has finally prevailed.

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