Greenlight given to grow alkaloid poppies in NSW

NSW farmers will now be able to legally grow poppies following the passage of the Poppy Industry Bill 2016 through the NSW Parliament.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said growing alkaloid poppies safely and securely in NSW will support the production of medicines many people need for their quality of life.

“Opiate-based medications are used for a wide range of conditions, including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications. This bill supports manufacturing and production of these products in a cost-effective way,” Mr Blair said.poppies_760x440

Alkaloid poppy crops are expected to be best suited to irrigated areas as water usage will be comparable to other, similarly intensively managed crops, such as cotton.

“An alkaloid poppy industry in NSW also provides an opportunity to establish a new high‑value rural industry with a well-established international reputation and strong prospects for future growth,” Mr Blair said.

The first alkaloid poppy crops are expected to be planted in 2017. Interested poppy processors and contracted growers can apply to the Department of Primary Industries for a licence, although alkaloid poppy production will be highly regulated, with rigorous conditions and guidelines.