Western Australia’s only coal-mining town could host a hemp processing plant under state government plans to diversify its economy.
WA Hemp Growers’ Co-Op has been allocated $35,000 in funding to develop a business case for the facility in Collie, south of Perth.
It’s estimated the facility would service 37 growers and create jobs in both farming and processing.
Derived from cannabis plants, industrial hemp contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, and its consumption causes no psychotropic effects.
Its seeds are used in health food and cosmetic products, while its fibre can be used to make textiles, building materials and paper.
Regional development minister Alannah McTiernan says hemp licences have more than doubled over the past two years.
“An industrial hemp processing facility in Collie would create jobs as well as present growers with opportunities for diversification in and around the region,” she said on Thursday.
“The McGowan government has been a strong champion for the WA hemp industry, providing more than $435,000 in grants over the past 15 months, and we hope this funding will really help it flourish.”