Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022


Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:38): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question on the topic of the Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Earlier today I received a response to a previous question I asked about whether or not the Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis exists under the Malinauskas government. The answer that I received in writing today does not confirm whether it does. Can the minister now confirm whether the office continues?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for her question and her ongoing interest in the topic of industrial hemp. As outlined in the answer to which I believe she is referring, there was a four-year PIRSA/SARDI industrial hemp trials project which was completed in 2021, and an update report was published in January of this year, and that report is publicly available on the PIRSA website.

There is also AgriFutures Australia, which commenced an industrial hemp varieties trial project in July, which is a national project with trial sites across Australia, and SARDI is a participant in these trials, with trial sites at Loxton in the Riverland and Maaoupe in the Limestone Coast. Up to 17 June 2022 PIRSA has issued 25 licences to cultivate industrial hemp and two licences to process industrial hemp.

In terms of responsibilities, as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development I am responsible for the Industrial Hemp Act 2017 and the Industrial Hemp Regulations 2017, which provides a licencing framework to authorise and regulate the possession, cultivation, processing and supply of industrial hemp in South Australia.

I am advised that medicinal cannabis is regulated by SA Health and the commonwealth, and of course the Department for Trade and Investment supports commercial investor and export interests in South Australia. That is typically predicated on stakeholders meeting regulatory requirements. So in terms of the official responsibilities for this matter, that is where the responsibilities lie.