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Australia: Northern Territory to green-light industrial hemp industry as hopes for medical marijuana continue

The Northern Territory Government is set to green-light the industrial hemp industry, and moves are afoot to commercially cultivate medical marijuana.

Draft legislation to legalise the growing of industrial hemp has gone to Cabinet, a Government spokesperson said, with new laws that would bring the Territory into line with other Australian states expected to pass by the end of the year.

A trial crop in Katherine has proven successful, with the region’s climate conditions expected to give the NT a “big commercial advantage”.

“Following a successful department trial, the Territory Labor Government believes there is serious potential to grow industrial hemp as a new job-creating industry,” a spokesperson said.

“Hemp can be used in many daily products … and we believe it will create long-term local jobs and business opportunities.”
Talks are also underway within the Northern Territory Government about the commercial cultivation of medical marijuana, with an aim to implement legislation similar to Victoria and New South Wales.

The move would bring the NT into line with other jurisdictions, allowing the production of medical marijuana by pharmaceutical companies and the retail and distribution of medicinal marijuana products to patients.

Industry could be a boon for agriculture

Federal legislation for the growth of medical marijuana passed in February 2016.

“There is serious job-creating potential in this expanding medical industry and we are interested in the opportunity for our agricultural sector to be a part of it,” the spokesperson said.

“Any new job-creating industry must be explored seriously, especially where the NT has a competitive advantage.”

Katherine Mayor Fay Miller said the success of the department trial proved the region’s agricultural industry was up to the task.

“Obviously this is going to have long-term implications that are positive, so it’s very, very encouraging,” she said.

“We’re certainly in the preparations of getting ready for all growth and development … and this is one of those future crops that will be very, very well catered for in Katherine.”

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Gone to pot. Places where marijuana is legal

LAST week two American states legalised the use of small amounts of marijuana. Critics immediately claimed it would allow busloads of tourists to travel interstate, pull cones, snowboard and then go home.
Hit the slopes? Then a bong? Fox News reported.

Despite the fear mongering, it’s not like the US is going to turn into a mini Amsterdam with pot freely available for sale in coffee shops. It will in fact have laws similar to many Australian states.

From December 6, Colorado will allow “personal use and regulation of marijuana for adults 21 and older. It will also allow people to grow up to six personal marijuana plants as long as they are in a locked space.

In Washington, plants will still be prohibited unless people gain medical authorisation. But users will legally be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

In Australia marijuana is decriminalised for personal use in small amounts in the ACT, SA, WA and the NT. In all other states it is illegal.

There are no bus loads of tourists travelling from NSW to Canberra to smoke pot and check out the National Gallery.

Travellers heading overseas who have an addiction to marijuana should check local laws before they think about taking a puff. The green stuff can land you a long stint in jail.

That is unless you travel to these countries. Here’s a quick list of the places where marijuana is actually legal.

Argentina – legal for personal use in small amounts.

Cyprus – possession of up to 15 grams for personal use and five plants.

Ecuador – possession is not illegal defined by law 108.

Mexico – personal use of up to five grams is legal.

The Netherlands – cannabis is sold in “coffee shops” other types of sales and possession is illegal.

Peru – up to eight grams of cannabis is legal as long as the user is not in possession of another drug.

Switzerland – On January 1, 2012, the cantons Vaud, Neuchatel, Geneva and Fribourg allowed the growing and cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants per person, in an attempt to curb illegal street trafficking.

Uruguay – possession for personal use is not penalised. BUT the amount allowed for personal use is not specified in the law.