Australia is a party to the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs of 1961, and as such it is required to exercise certain controls over the trade, cultivation and use of cannabis. Whilst the convention specifically exempts the growing of cannabis for industrial purposes from its control, parties to the Convention are obliged to adopt such measures necessary to prevent the misuse of, and illict traffic in, the leaves of the cannabis plant (the part of the plant which may have psychoactive ingredients)
The Department of Human Services and Health is responsible for the issue of licences and permits to import and permits to export cannabis, including the seeds and resin. These permits cannot be issued without evidence of compliance with the relevant State or Territory legislation.
The authorisation of persons to posses and cultivate cannabis is a State responsibility, administered by the State Departments of Health in consultation with other relevant State Departments.
NEW SOUTH WALES
The State government announced on the 20th of September the immediate go ahead of trial crops to begin in north west NSW. These trials are situated near Armidale and are involving researchers from University of New England.
"Hemp Trial Given the Green Light"- an article.
Possesion and cultivation of cannabis sativa for any purpose in Victoria is currently prohibited under the Victorian Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act; a state prohibited weed under the Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act; and a prohibited import under the Commonwealth Customs Act.
Licences to grow a trial crop for investigating purposes are avaliable for applicants. Applicants will be selected on basis of location of trial sites to ensure these sites are distributed in the areas of greatest production potential; ability to implement appropriate security measures; and effective collaboration with commercial end-users.
"Government to test Indian Hemp" an article.
The government currently has a policy allowing the continuation of trial plantings. When sufficient economic information has been obtained then a decision will be made as to whether a viable industry could be established.
This Dope is Very Clever: an article with an interview with Patsy Harmen.
To date the committee feels the major disadvantages of the commercial production of hemp include that presently the plant is classified as a prohibited plant in Western Australia under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Also prospects for a hemp fibre industry in Western Australia appear limited because of high costs of production and the uncertainty about prices for paper pulp.
Hemp may be grown for fibre in WA: an article.
Hemp is classifed by South Australia Controlled Substances Act as a prohibited substance and the cultivation is totally prohibited. However, research licenses may be obtained. The South Australian Minister for Health has authorised three trial sowings of industrial hemp in South Australia.
HERE takes you to a long document which deals with the legislative options for cannabis use in Australia. (hence the name of the same title)