Ask Our Experts 10/30/19: The Size of the Australian Market


Q: What degree of activity does Australia represent in the global hemp market?

By New Frontier Data

A: According to New Frontier Data’s The Global State of Hemp: 2019 Industry Outlook, Australia accounts for approximately 1% of global hemp sales. Like most markets around the world, Australia’s hemp industry is in its infancy. In November 2017, Australia legalized the sale of hemp foods, and since then its industry has focused mainly on building up its infrastructure and figuring out which hemp seeds work best in the country’s various climate conditions.

Through trial and error, Australia’s hemp market has slowly gained steam: In 2018, the country sold approximately $41 million in hemp-based products, of which only 2% were CBD-based products. Most of Australia’s hemp sales came from personal care products (36%) or textiles (23%).

Australian Hemp Market

Producers of CBD products are required to obtain a medical cannabis license, regardless of whether it came from hemp or cannabis. Products containing 98% CBD and no THC are classified as Schedule 4 substances, while products containing THC and less than 98% of CBD products are deemed Schedule 8 substances.

Though the Australian hemp market is presently relatively small and underdeveloped, given time — and perhaps more favorable regulations — Australia has the potential to develop into a regional leader in the global hemp space.