MEDIA RELEASE | For Immediate Release
30 May 2023, [MELBOURNE, VIC]

Following the budget announcement of the imminent closure of the Victorian native timber logging industry, Legalise Cannabis Victoria are pushing for a boost to the Victorian hemp industry that will guarantee more jobs in our regions, an increase to Victorian export earnings and state-wide carbon emissions reductions.

“Tomorrow we are asking all members of the Victorian Parliament to support our motion for an Inquiry into Victoria’s Industrial Hemp Industry. “The foreclosure of native logging makes a Hemp Inquiry critical so that Victoria can meet its growing need for building materials and fibre pulp. Broad support for this inquiry will help us kickstart a new era in Victoria’s fibre future with a boost to industrial hemp.” Said MP Rachel Payne 

Rachel Payne Said, “with an estimated global value of $4.9 billion dollars, it is time to shine a light on this incredibly versatile, resilient, and sustainable crop. While other Australian states have tapped into the hemp export market, Victoria is lagging and needs investment in its hemp infrastructure and processing capabilities”.   

With our national hemp farmgate worth just $15 million, according to AgriFutures the Australian hemp Industry “is in its infancy, notably trailing Canada, China and the European Union in terms of scale and value of production.” By comparison, Canada’s hemp industry is worth $587 million with projections reaching $2.4 billion by 2030. An assembly of key hemp stakeholders at next month’s Fibre Forum in Geelong illustrates a groundswell of support for Victorian hemp.

David Ettershank said, “”For far too long, industrial hemp has been like a victim of a drive-by shooting, caught in the crossfire of the prohibition on Cannabis. Meanwhile, Victorian farmers are crying out to get a foot in this fertile international market so it’s now time Victorian Hemp is given a chance to thrive.” 

“Hemp’s ability to absorb more carbon dioxide per hectare than a forest or almost any other commercial crop will be crucial in helping Victoria reach its carbon emissions reductions targets. We know hemp is grown for beauty products, paper, food and clothing but the construction material capability of hemp alone will be key as Victoria continues to grow”, said Rachel Payne. 

This proves hemp is an obvious short- and long-term solution for our fibre shortage moving forward. With Government support, Victorian Hemp will become a clean and sustainable commodity crop for future generations of Victorian farmers, producers and their communities.  

At a doorstop interview tomorrow, the Legalise Cannabis Victoria MPS will be joined by some of Victoria’s hemp producers and their fabulous products, including Lyn Stephenson, Australian Hemp Council President and Operator of Bunjil farm, Kyneton; Mark Smith and Ruth Cardenas, Cultivators and Developers, One Life Botanicals, South-East Melbourne, and Brett Boag, Hemp Innovator and Founder of Hexcore Hemp Processing, Pakenham.

Ms.Payne and Mr Ettershank are available for interviews on request.


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Adelle Mills
Mobile: 0407 352 889

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