Can You Grow Tobacco in Australia?

While tobacco has been around for centuries, the harms of smoking are well known and due to these concerns, many taxes and restrictions around marketing have been implemented to help look after the health of the public. Not only this but an important point is that many governments around the world have implemented restrictions regarding production and growing tobacco. This article will look at the restrictions involved with growing your own tobacco in Australia, let’s investigate.

Tobacco Growing Regulations in Australia

If you want to legally grow and sell tobacco then you’ll have to go through a complex process since the government is so stringent with its regulations and even then there is a very slim chance you’ll be allowed to grow.
There are currently no legal growing operations in Australia and almost all tobacco sold is imported from overseas. If you do get licenced it will likely be for a limited amount of purposes and on top of this manufacturer’s regulations are quite stringent as well as the taxes involved.

Getting a Licence to Grow Tobacco in Australia

The process to get a licence to grow tobacco in Australia requires several steps to ensure that you follow regulations and pay appropriate taxation. Let’s take a look at what’s involved for those interested.

Apply for an Excise Licence from the ATO

You will need to first obtain a grower’s licence from the Australian Taxation Office since this crop is taxable. The process involves putting an application through where they assess the safety of the crops, the market as well as the protection of revenue. Even then it’s very unlikely that you’ll get approved.

Get Growers Registration with DAWE

Once you receive the licence from the ATO, you need to register as a grower with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) which are responsible for environmental regulation. Then you will need to follow their guidelines for cultivation.

Can You Grow Tobacco for Personal Use in Australia?

The Australian government has introduced strict laws that limit all growing of tobacco even for personal use, this is because it robs the community of important funding due to the taxation of the products. So even if you’re growing small amounts for yourself it’s considered illegal and can get you in some serious trouble.

What Are The Fines for Growing Tobacco in Australia

If you are found to be growing tobacco without the necessary permits, you could be faced with heavy fines. The fines can vary depending on the state you are in and the severity of the offence. For real severe crimes, you can expect to be sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined up to 500,000 Australian dollars. Yikes.


While the Australian government has good reason to restrict the sale of tobacco the penalties can be very harsh, so if you’re considering growing your own tobacco for personal or commercial use it’s probably not worth it. The taxation of the product is for good reason and it is to deter the public from this harmful activity, so if you’re not interested in paying for overpriced cigarettes it might be best to quit.

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