AN expected public meeting will this month explain how Dorset can capitalise on an industrial hemp industry, despite recent setbacks.
Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said yesterday news that Norfolk Island, off the New South Wales coast, could allow growing of medicinal cannabis still allowed room for his municipality.
The council has been pushing for industrial hemp to be grown in the Scottsdale area for fibre and food and possibly also growing the much more valuable medicinal cannabis.
He said growing cannabis on Norfolk Island could make it harder to establish an industry here, but it was worth pursuing.
"I think Tasmania should be at the forefront in medicinal cannabis," he said.
"We need to get a trial up somewhere in the state.
"If it stacks up, it would be great for the state."
He said Huon Valley Council in the South was developing a business case for medicinal cannabis and Dorset was concentrating on hemp.
Cr Jarvis expects a public meeting will be held in Scottsdale near the end of the month to explain the scope of the industry to the public and the crop opportunities to farmers.
He said another important information source would be the Legislative Council's medicinal cannabis inquiry.
The state government supports a hemp industry. It has rejected a request for a medicinal cannabis trial but says it will respond to any recommendations from the Legislative Council.