HONOLULU– On Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 3 pm, in the Office of the Governor, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will officially sign SB2175 into law. SB2175 authorizes the University of Hawaii at Manoa to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research program.
This year, the United States Senate approved the Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the “Farm Bill,” and industrial hemp is now allowed to be grown for research purposes. According to the National Farm Bill, any university can now grow industrial hemp without obtaining a Drug Enforcement Agency permit. Twenty-two other states, including Colorado and Oregon, have passed legislation relating to industrial hemp similar to Hawaii’s SB2175.
State Rep. Cynthia Thielen has long been a proponent of industrial hemp because the economic capabilities of the crop will be a great asset for the State and will promote self-sustainability. In addition to hemp being used to decontaminate soil, hemp can also be processed into building materials.
“Hempcrete, a hemp and lime composite, is termite proof, making it an excellent choice for the construction industry,” declared Rep. Cynthia Thielen.
Thielen notes, “There is a huge global market for hemp and the U.S. is the largest consumer at nearly $500 million per year. The passage of SB2175 is the first step for Hawaii to become a national and global player in the hemp market. We could profit hugely off this environmentally friendly crop.”