The Federal Farm bill, passed by the U.S. Senate today and headed to the president’s desk, includes legalization of industrial hemp for research purposes.

Hawaii state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a longtime hemp proponent who has pushed for its legal use locally, welcomes the federal legislation.

“With its ability to cleanse the soil of toxins, industrial hemp could be an environmentally friendly replacement for sugar and pineapple,” Thielen said in a statement, referring to hemp’s potential in Hawaii. “Hemp is often grown without pesticides or herbicides due to its natural ability to ward off unwanted insects and weeds. Furthermore, hemp’s potential as a biofuel feedstock could be a game-changer for Hawaii.”

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Photo: Rep. Cynthia Thielen with hemp products. (House Minority)

—Chad Blair