Sydney, Aug 24 (IANS) Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) farmers can legally grow poppies as the state government has passed a bill on Wednesday, legalising the production of the crops for medical use.
The Poppy Industry 2016 bill, received full support from the state government, opposition, minor parties, and independents, with the first poppy crops expected to be planted next year, Xinhua news agency reported.
The bill will enable alkaloid poppies meant for the production of medicine to be safely and securely grown in the state, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said.
“Opiate-based medications are used for a wide range of conditions, including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications,” Blair said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
However, Blair said alkaloid poppy production will be highly regulated at state, with license conditions and guidelines providing clear and rigorous requirements for the industry.