On July 7, 2016, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed into law SB 2659, a bill that establishes an industrial hemp program through the state Department of Agriculture. Although the United States imports millions of dollars worth of hemp and its derivatives each year, many states have banned the plant due to its close relation to marijuana.
“Hemp truly is a miracle plant,” said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a proponent of the bill. “With the newly signed hemp law Hawaii will be able to tap into this exciting technical field, bringing down the price of energy systems and storage in our islands.”
Under the new law, the Department of Agriculture will import hemp seeds in order to comply with THC potency requirements. The department will also issues cultivation licenses, costing $250 each plus a $2 fee for every acre used.