UH-Manoa to launch two-year industrial hemp program

Hemp harvested from a field in Springfield, Colo. (AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt, File)

The University of Hawaii at Manoa will be able to launch a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research program.

Gov. Abercrombie is expected to sign SB2175 into law Wednesday, authorizing the university to establish the program. The bill also requires the dean of the university’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to submit a final report.

Plants grown on the test site will be tested and monitored by the state Dept. of Agriculture to ensure no marijuana is grown.

Industrial hemp can now be grown for research purposes by institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture, according to the national Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the “Farm Bill.”

“The passage of SB2175 is the first step for Hawaii to become a national and global player in the hemp market,” said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua, Kaneohe Bay). “We could profit hugely off this environmentally friendly crop.”

In addition to Hawaii, 22 states, including Colorado and Oregon, have passed similar legislation relating to industrial hemp, Thielen says.

Read SB2175 in its entirety here.

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