Does Australia need hemp? But isn’t that a drug?

Possibly a little behind in its ways, having only just legalised medicinal cannabis in November 2016, I’d like to pose what seems fit the next step.

Should Australia grow and harvest its own hemp?

Hemp is a type of cannabis that is NOT used for smoking. Yes, the plant looks like dope and in many ways grows like dope. However, it does not have the same uses.

In present times, Australia imports hemp containing products such as body lotions and ropes. Hemp Australia, located in Tasmania, is the only hempseed and meal provider at a commercial scale.

I wonder what it would do for Australia’s economy if we grew, harvested and produced our own hemp products. I’m thinking that’s a lot of jobs and businesses within Australia as well as a HUGE profit in distributing these products globally.

Of course, careful management does need to occur in order for high quality hemp to be grown and used for particular purposes. However, considering the benefits of hemp, a highly sustainable unlimited source, I’m sure the research into seed types best grown in Australian soils as well as harvesting time and quality can be invested in.

In 2012 Australia recognised hemp as a legal form of food. It is legal to grow hemp in Australia and to eat hemp in Australia. However, laws around growing hemp in Australia for purposes other than food are not clear.

You could be thinking, well if people just start growing hemp, what does that mean for drug traffickers possibly growing weed and before you know it, we have a drug problem in Australia. This is definitely not the space to debate the effects of drugs such as Marijuana, however there are some important misconceptions the public must know.

Although both hemp and Marijuana come from the cannabis species:

  • Hemp cannot be smoked! If you try, you simply will not get high.
  • Hemp typically contains less than 0.3% THC, whereas Marijuana contains between 3-15% THC (THC Is basically what gets you high).
  • Marijuana cannot be grown amongst hemp. The hemp plant’s pollen will completely dilute the Marijuana plant, reducing its psychoactive effects to simply pointless.
  • Hemp has literally NO toxic affect whether it is eaten, drank, worn or even slept amongst.
  • Hemp’s appearance when grownforms stick-like plants whereas Marijuana is flower-heavy.

There really is little confusion or difficulty in regards to monitoring the hemp industry. Canada has been doing it for 18 years, France around 30 years and China, since ancient times.

So, what do you think? What should Australia do?

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