KIM HOUGH is feeling the strain of a two-year wait for the Labor Government
to fulfil its election promise to legalise industrial hemp.

"We've gone out on a limb financially to create a market because you can't
sell unless you have the market," he said.

Mr Hough's company imports hemp seed oil for health and body-care products
and he believes an industry, including food products, could be worth $250
million within five years.

But in WA the only flourishing hemp is illegal marijuana, which has one per
cent or more of tetrahydrocanabinol.

Two months ago, Queensland joined Victoria and Tasmania in legalising
industrial hemp, which has a maximum of 0.5 per cent THC and does not
produce a drug high when smoked.

Both are varieties of cannabis sativa.

A spokesman for Agriculture Minister Kim Chance, whose department will make
licence rules for industrial hemp growers under amendments to the Misuse of
Drugs Act 1991, said the legislation had been drafted several weeks ago.

Opposition Leader Colin Barnett said he supported a hemp industry with
safeguards but opposed decriminalising marijuana use.

Pubdate: Wed, 20 Nov 2002
Source: West Australian (Australia)
Copyright: 2002 West Australian Newspapers Limited
Author: Peter Trott