Hawaii’s full Legislature has overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 2175, a proposal to establish a two-year hemp research program. The measure now heads to the governor for consideration.
If signed into law by the governor, or allowed to become law without his signature, Senate Bill 2175 would “authorize the dean of the college of tropical agriculture and human resources at the University of Hawaii to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research program.” The dean would be permitted to “submit a final report to the legislature prior to the convening of the regular session of 2016.”
Remediation, which is also referred to as phytoremediation, is the practice of using plants to remove toxins such as crude oils from soil.
“This progressive, bipartisan bill will keep Hawaii on the cutting edge of agricultural research, help the state realize the economic capabilities of the crop, and potentially restore land previously damaged by earlier contamination,” says Representative Cynthia Thielen. ”With its ability to cleanse the soil of toxins and heavy metals, industrial hemp could be an environmentally friendly alternative to existing methods”. She continues; ”Using industrial hemp as a phytoremediator also removes the need to excavate or relocate topsoil in contaminated lands, drastically decreasing costs and curtailing the spread of toxic waste to other areas.”