Grants help grow Western Australia’s hemp industry

The government of Western Australia is backing the state’s industrial hemp industry by investing $200,000 in expansion and growth opportunities.

The Industrial Hemp Grants scheme will provide individual grants for research into new varieties suitable for conditions in Western Australia and opportunities for processing industrial hemp.

Grants can also be used for the development of major infrastructure and to explore market opportunities for industrial hemp products.

All projects will need to deliver industry-wide benefits.

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Agriculture and food minister Alannah MacTiernan said big opportunities exist for hemp as a high-protein grain for food and beverage production, and as a fibre for textiles and building products.

“The feedback we are getting from growers, processors, manufacturers and businesses is that they need support to establish processing facilities, develop markets and to identify varieties suitable for WA conditions.

“This grants scheme will support the industry’s activation and development, and follows our Government’s move to increase permissible THC content in industrial hemp,” she said.

“Any expansion of the industry will not only deliver economic benefits but will provide more jobs in regional WA.”

The grant scheme follows the government’s amendments to legislation to allow hemp to be grown with a higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, providing more flexibility and certainty for growers.

The scheme will be administered by the department of primary industries and regional development, and successful applicants will be required to match the grant dollar-for-dollar.

Applications close at on November 30, 2018.