Hemp Could Become a High-Priority Crop!

Hemp Could Become a High-Priority Crop!
Posted by FoM on February 15, 1999 at 07:10:28 PT

Efforts to study industrial hemp could spark a financial high for some Hawaii businesses. The state Legislature is studying a bill, known as the Hawaii Strategic Industrial Hemp Development Act, that would allow privately funded hemp research by the state. 
Growing hemp has been illegal in the United States since the late 1950s, and special state and federal permits must be issued to grow it. Such permits have been given to institutions for scientific study. The state Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Agency issue controlled substance registration permits. Although hemp is similar to marijuana (the growing of which has been illegal since the 1930s), its use does not produce euphoria. "It's the same plant if a Chihuahua and a Great Dane are the same dog," said Tracy Ryan, vice chairwoman for Hawaii's Libertarian Party. Hemp may legally be imported from other countries, and a resolution before the Hawaii Legislature would request the federal government to legalize growing it in the United States. Hemp grown in Hawaii would be processed into goods such as textiles, fabrics, building materials, food, soap and shampoo, Ryan said. Hawaii companies also could stamp "Made in Hawaii" on hemp items, and use the brand to sell the product, according to Manolo Pagaduan, owner of Hawaiian Hemp Designs, a wholesaler of hemp products such as clothing and jewelry. Although hemp could work as a form of diversified agriculture, Ryan said, it does not require as much labor as sugar or pineapples and so wouldn't provide as many farming jobs. But Pagaduan said the Hawaii economy would benefit from the fact that it costs less to grow hemp than to import it. Certainly the demand for imported hemp has been growing. Pagaduan referred to a Wall Street Journal article that projects 300 percent growth in hemp imports, from $75 million in 1997 to $250 million in 1999. Still, retailers would benefit if hemp weren't quite so expensive. Arlene Woo, owner of Earthware Inc., an environmental products store in Manoa, said her market can't handle the high price of retail clothing made from hemp. The proposed private hemp study takes on major importance because, given all of the plant's uses, it is critical for Hawaii to get into the hemp market before another state, such as Kentucky (which has studied the plant), Pagaduan said. He said it was unfortunate that hemp was so closely associated with a drug such as marijuana . "It's a god-given plant," Pagaduan said. "It's like saying you can't extract petroleum anymore." 
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Comment #1 posted by noreen on July 24, 1999 at 23:55:57 PT:
Turn all Hawaii into a hemp state! Save Hawaii!
Pollenate the whole state of Hawaii. Hemp has more uses than most people would ever believe...It would improve the soil &be the fastest turnover crop...weeds grow wild in Hawaii!No more poison sprayed over the fields...let the helecopterspollenate instead...we are running out of natural resource & really could be self sufficient if the govt would let us. 
Skynary business
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