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Hemp production trials extended

Posted on May 9, 2004

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia — Trials of commercial hemp production would continue in New South Wales (NSW) despite the limited success of tests underway since 1995, State MP Steve Whan said.

But, the NSW government warned anyone interested in growing the crop it contained only low levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Mr Whan said that since 1995 when trials were first authorised, there had been 60 separate trials delivering important data on hemp growing and the potential of manufacturing its fibre.

He said the government warned that earlier trials had been difficult, producing low yields.

The first planting was carried out at Armidale but was never harvested because it performed below expectation and was waterlogged.

“We recognise that this area has been difficult, but we are willing to look at new crops for farmers and ways to continue and expand agriculture in NSW,” Mr Whan said.

“However, part of the research is discovering what works and what does not.”

But, he said with more countries utilising hemp fibre for fabrics and other materials there was a real likelihood the trials could become commercially viable projects.

Mr Whan said there was a growing market for hemp fibre overseas so if production was successful in the long term, it could become an export product.

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