Council considers hemp support

A MOTION to support future development of an industrial hemp industry will be tabled at Meander Valley Council meeting on Tuesday.

The motion report said approximately 80 tonnes of dry cleaned industrial hemp seed was produced in Tasmania last growing season.

It said there was potential to increase the output, gained from 90 hectares of land, to 200 hectares a season.

Meander Valley Economic Development and Sustainability director Rick Dunn and councillor Bob Richardson last month attended the Industrial Hemp Association of Tasmania's annual general meeting at Bishopsbourne.

Cr Richardson said the motion was forwarded in an attempt to gain support for the potentially lucrative industry in Tasmania.

"I'm not sure whether the councillors will support it or not, but it seems like a very worthwhile crop for the state," he said.

"Personally I can't see many downsides for it as a crop ... hopefully more councils come on-side, ultimately the decision lies with Canberra and the growers themselves."

Mr Dunn, who authored the agenda item, said council officers were aware of active hemp growers within the municipality.

"Midland Seeds at Carrick have contracted growers of hemp seed and are considering operational changes which will further support the industry," he said in the report.

"Seed cleaners which operate in Meander Valley have also been contracted to provide services to the community."

The meeting will be held from 1.30pm at Westbury.

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