Industrial hemp licensing

In order to grow, trade in, or process industrial hemp as an agricultural crop an individual, body corporate, or partnership needs to be licensed under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006.

Industrial hemp or industrial hemp products cannot be supplied to any person for therapeutic use or for the purpose of creating a therapeutic product. For more information see Growing and producing medicinal cannabis products

Industrial hemp is varieties of Cannabis sativa that have a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content generally below 0.35 percent. Industrial hemp varieties are controlled drugs and are listed in Schedule 3 Part I of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

It is an offence to advertise hemp for psychoactive purposes or to supply it to unauthorised persons. The Director-General of Health determines which varieties of Cannabis sativa can be cultivated. For further information please consult the guidelines below or contact the Medicines Control office.

Licence fees

A licence is issued for a period of one year.

A general licence is $511.11 including GST. This allows for the cultivation, processing, possession and supply of low-THC cannabis varieties approved by the Director-General of Health.

A research and breeding licence is issued only if the applicant holds a general licence and is an additional $153.33 including GST. It allows for the cultivation and processing of approved and non-approved varieties.

Application forms

From July 2019 the following application forms are to be used to apply for a new industrial hemp licence, or to request an amendment (including extension) to an existing industrial hemp licence.

Medsafe will email application packs to licensees for renewal of existing licences reaching their expiry date.

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