Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Thursday signed into law a bill that establishes a pilot program through the state Department of Agriculture allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp and distribution of hemp seed “for purposes of agricultural or academic research.”

The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Mike Gabbard, a Democrat like Ige, and championed by state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a Republican.

Dr. Harry Ako and his staff conduct a press conference with legislators and media near Industrial Hemp Field at the University of Hawaii, Waimanalo Research Station, 41-698 Ahiki Street. 23 july 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

An industrial hemp field at the University of Hawaii’s Waimanalo Research Station, July 2015.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In a press release after the bill signing, Thielen noted that researchers at the University of Alberta’s National Institute for Nanotechnology in Canada recently announced “a startling discovery” that seems to indicate that “hemp-based electrodes for supercapacitors outperformed standard supercapacitors by nearly 200 percent.”

“Hemp truly is a miracle plant,” Thielen. “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.”

Here’s a link to the signing.

Support for hemp is growing. Read Civil Beat’s related reporting:

To Hear The Founding Fathers Tell It, Hemp Can Make America Great Again

Hawaii Lawmakers Need To Finish The Job On Hemp, Medical Pot

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