$10 million-a-year potential for farmers

Country singer James Blundell in tune with hemp’s $10 million-a-year potential for farmers

On Queensland’s Granite Belt, 200 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, sheep graze on the hard and rocky soils but the region could soon also be home to a boom new agriculture industry: cannabis.

Cannabis sativa, also known as hemp, is an emerging crop projected to bring Australian farmers $10 million a year by 2026 and trials in the Granite Belt have yielded success.

It contains less than 0.3 per cent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it is not for those who seek the “high” traditionally associated with marijuana.

Stanthorpe grazier, hemp farmer and Australian country music star James Blundell says he is pleasantly surprised by the results of a trial crop on his property.

“With the exception of a couple of more covert attempts to grow the plant back in my early 20s, this will be my first time growing [industrial hemp],” he said.

“We put an old plough into a paddock that had never been cultivated and I had no idea how the plant would respond.

“I knew it to be a resilient plant but I didn’t realise how hardy it really was.”

Mr Blundell’s trial crop was overseen by statutory government body AgriFutures Australia and the University of Sydney to test the viability of nine different industrial hemp varieties under different climatic conditions.

James Blundell with hemp plant

Read the full story at ABC News