If you’re trying to import hemp into Australia make sure you understand what’s legal.
Although there has been talk about the legalisation of medical marijuana imports to Australia, consuming cannabis is still illegal for the most part. Similarly, importing hemp or cannabis also faces strict laws under Australian Hemp Regulations.
All Cannabis products intended for human consumption are prohibited to be imported into Australia under the Regulations
To simplify this: you basically cannot import hemp that’s intended for human consumption but there’s provisions that allow imports for industrial use e.g. to make clothing.
This guide is only a general reference and is not intended as legal advice. Your ability to import hemp products is dependant on the Department Immigration and Border Protection. If unsure, check with these guys.
Laws on hemp in Australia
Hemp (also known as Cannabis Sativa) is subject to various laws in Australia that affect imports, cultivation and use. These laws include:
- Customs Act 1901, through the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health (HSH)
- Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
- Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971
- United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988
The multiple laws make it difficult to generalise how hemp is treated in Australia so it’s important to make a distinction on the type of hemp as well what you are doing with the hemp.
What forms of hemp can’t be imported?
Let’s start with what you can’t import into Australia. Any part of the plant or seed cannot be imported.
- Fruiting tops
- Resins of the plant (in any form)
- In the form tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the active ingredient in cannabis.
- Any product intended for human consumption
What forms of hemp can be imported?
Processed industrial products that are free of contamination with hemp plants (e.g. contamination with flowers, seeds and leaves)
- Hemp pulp
How can I get a license to import seeds and plants
In order to import hemp seeds or oils you must be a holder of:
- A License to Import. Licenses are organised state by state.
- A Permit to Import. You must also obtain a separate Permit to Import each time you bring hemp seeds or oils over. This is obtained before the shipment is made.
You can find more information here.
How do I apply for a license?
To apply for a license there is strict criteria that you must meet. This can include:
- Proving the location where the hemp seed or oil is stored are secure
- Providing a list of all contacts involved
- Reason for importing
How do I apply for a permit to import hemp?
You can apply for a permit once your license has been approved. Before it is issued however you must meet an state or territory requirements regarding:
Where can I apply for a license?
You will need satisfy multiple state/territory requirements if you are transferring across state/territory borders. Licenses are granted by the Secretary of Department of Health.
You can find import and export forms here.
Can I grow hemp in Australia?
This is how each state treats hemp growth. Common rules include:
- The final products must not be intended for consumption or smoking
- Hemp grown and supplied is of low THC or under a certain limit
- Having a license
Can I grow hemp?
|Australian Capital Territory||
Yes, industrial hemp can be grown with a license
|New South Wales||Yes with a license||
|Northern Territory||Not usually but exemptions available for processed hemp fibre and products as long as they are not whole.||
|Queensland||Yes, industrial hemp can be grown with a license||
|South Australia||No legislation for commercial cultivation||
|Tasmania||Yes, industrial hemp can be grown with a license||
|Victoria||Yes, can be processed for commercial or research purposes under Victorian authority||
|Western Australia||Yes, industrial hemp can be grown if the the hemp seed is certified with a license.||