In an applaud-worthy bipartisan showing of support for considering hemp as the commodity it is, Hawaii’s House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 154, to establish a state-funded starter program examining the benefits of hemp.
More specifically, the primary focus of the research will be phytoremediation, the process by which a plant draws toxins out the soil (such as in Chernobyl); hemp is said to be one of the best plants for this process
In addition, lawmakers expanded the research to include examining hemp as a biofuel feedstock.
“People now understand how industrial hemp can benefit Hawaii,” according to State Representative Cynthia Thielen, a Republican who cosponsored the measure. She continues, “The hemp plant itself uses phytoremediation to cleanse the soil of pesticides, heavy metals, oil, and other toxins.”
The measure now moves to the Senate, where its passage would put it in the hands of Governor Neil Abercrombie.
Earlier this week Hawaii’s House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve a measure to decriminalize cannabis possession.