As a state that relies heavily on agriculture, Tasmania is often lauded for punching above its weight.
Our brand hinges on our ability to deliver high-quality niche products that the mainland and the world can't get enough of, which is something we have discovered we are quite good at. Tasmania has quite strict regulations for biosecurity, along with what can and can't be grown here.
Which is why it feels a bit like a comedy of errors which saw a floral bouquet that has slipped through Tasmania's tight biosecurity net to land on Independent MHR Andrew Wilkie's desk a day before a senate inquiry into the growth of Tasmania's agricultural sector.
Our strict biosecurity rules have allowed the state to flourish and have, for the most part, kept us free of some of the more insidious crop diseases that have plagued our mainland cousins, such as the varroa mite.
However, the senate inquiry has heard that federal and state regulations for agriculture need to be relaxed to allow Tasmania to flourish and grow its agricultural industry at the rate demanded by the state government.
With a plan to grow Tasmanian agriculture to be worth $10 billion by 2050, legislative changes are needed to allow that to happen. One industry that would benefit from a relaxation of the biosecurity rules is Tasmania's hemp industry.
At present, the hemp industry could be described as relatively small, although it is always growing all the time.
Hemp growers have been in Tasmania for several years but they are hampered in what parts of the plants they can grow and for what purpose.
Producers from Hemp Tasmania fronted the inquiry on Tuesday to advocate for a relaxing of the rules to allow for the entire hemp plant to be cultivated for a diverse range of uses. Hemp is a product that has many uses and represents a unique opportunity for Tasmanian producers to diversify, as the plant does grow well in the state.
While regulations are there for a reason, maybe this one is worth a discussion at least, to allow existing producers a chance to grow and add value to a pillar industry.