“This project is just the first step in establishing Hawaii as a leader in the growth and production of industrial hemp and its products,” says Representative Cynthia Thielen.
“I am looking forward to planting and cultivating this important crop which has so much potential for Hawaii’s agricultural future”, says Harry Ako, a professor at the University of Hawaii who will serve as the lead researcher for the hemp research project. “It is exciting knowing that the University of Hawaii, and our state, is at the forefront in bringing industrial hemp back to our farmers as a crop which offers so much for so many.”
According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.