SUPPORT for an industrial hemp industry is growing, with a Northern politician also backing cannabis use to relieve medical symptoms.
Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said yesterday the cannabis issue was multifaceted.
"On the issue of decriminalisation of personal use of cannabis where there are clear compassionate circumstances, this is an option that state and territory governments could pursue should they wish," he said.
"I would have no personal objection to any state wishing to go down this path."
Cannabis use is illegal in Australia.
Mr Nikolic also backed a Dorset Council move to grow industrial hemp.
The council will today discuss an agenda item to pursue "opportunities for growing and processing industrial hemp, medicinal cannabis in Dorset and any other biopharmaceutical products".
Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said at the weekend that industrial hemp could be a major job and revenue source, but medicinal cannabis offered fewer jobs and more regulatory hurdles.
A state government spokesman said the government strongly supported the removal of red and green tape, which prevented a viable industrial hemp industry.
The state government recently rejected an application for a medicinal cannabis trial.
Cr Jarvis said the federal government was going slow on approvals for cannabis.
Mr Nikolic said with cannabis as food, a key body called the Ministerial Forum for Food Standards had state and federal members and needed consensus from all.
He said he supported industrial hemp (for fibre production) as a valuable rotational crop.
On medicinal use of cannabis, there were already pharmaceutical products, such as one called Sativex, derived from cannabis.
MS Australia says Sativex (a mouth spray) was approved for relief of muscle problems but would not be available until states changed poisons schedules.