Gov. Signs Bill for Research on Industrial Hemp!

Gov. Signs Bill for Research on Industrial Hemp!
Posted by FoM on July 07, 1999 at 20:14:37 PT
Wednesday, July 7, 1999 
Source: SF Gate
Gov. Ben Cayetano signed into law Wednesday a measure that will allow an experimental plot of industrial hemp to be grown on the Big Island, if the federal government approves the project.
In signing the measure, Cayetano said it demonstrates his administration's support for finding different ways to diversify the state's economy, especially in agriculture. Allowing the growing of the marijuana-related plant is opposed by some local law enforcement agencies and the bill sparked strong debate in the Legislature. Opponents say it sends a message to young people that the state is softening its stand against illegal drugs. With the bill signed, the Los Angeles-based Alterna Applied Research Laboratories, a Los Angeles-based maker of hemp-based shampoo, handed over to the state a $200,000 grant to pay for the secured quarter-acre research plot on state agriculture land in Hilo. Before hemp can be grown in Hawaii, however, Alterna will have to gain a permit for the project from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It hasn't issued such a permit in four decades. Several other state are also looking to get the federal government to relax its prohibition against industrial hemp which can be used for food, fuel, clothing, paper and a wide variety of commercial products. Hemp is a sister plant to marijuana, but does not contain as much of the chemical THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. 
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