As expected, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 2175 (now Act 56), which allows the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program.                  

The federal Agriculture Act of 2014 allows higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture to conduct industrial hemp research, according to the administration.

“Hawaii’s environment and economy will benefit from this research,” Abercrombie said. “Industrial hemp can be used to decontaminate soil and increase the state’s production of biodiesel, therefore reducing our dependency on imported fuel.”

Act 56, which takes effect July 1, requires the Hawaii DOA to certify the hemp seed stock and verify that plants grown are not marijuana

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Photo: Surrounded by state legislators from both parties, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the hemp bill into law. (Abercrombie Administration)

—Chad Blair

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