REPORT TITLE:
Industrial Hemp; UOH Hilo


DESCRIPTION:
Requires the University of Hawaii at Hilo to study the
feasibility and desirability of industrial hemp production in
Hawaii.  Establishes the Hawaii Strategic Industrial Hemp
Development Act of 1999.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.32         
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that diversified
 
 2 agriculture has surpassed sugar (unprocessed cane) and pineapple
 
 3 (fresh equivalent) in terms of their combined form value since
 
 4 1992, even though the total acreage planted in diversified
 
 5 agriculture is a mere fraction of the total acreage planted in
 
 6 sugar and pineapple.  The legislature also finds that Governor
 
 7 Benjamin Cayetano announced his support of industrial hemp in the
 
 8 fall of 1998 and stated that the legalization of industrial hemp
 
 9 would help Hawaii's agricultural industry.
 
10      Industrial hemp is an environmentally friendly, renewable
 
11 natural resource for the manufacture of fiber, building materials
 
12 (such as roofing, flooring, and wallboard), pulp, paper, oil,
 
13 paints, sealants, fuel, and food.  Industrial hemp fiber can be
 
14 manufactured to produce fine linen and durable work cloth, as
 
15 well as heavy canvas, twine, cordage, and rope.  In addition,
 
16 industrial hemp can be grown for its seeds, which can be sold to
 
17 other industrial hemp growers or made into healthy and nutritious
 
18 food products for human beings and farm animals.  Industrial hemp
 

 
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 1 can be grown also as a rotation crop to control weeds and plant
 
 2 pests (such as the soybean cyst nematode) and to loosen the earth
 
 3 for subsequent crops.  Because it helps to control weeds and
 
 4 plant pests, industrial hemp does not require herbicides and
 
 5 pesticides.
 
 6      In 1942, the United States Department of Agriculture carried
 
 7 out a nationwide effort to encourage farmers to grow industrial
 
 8 hemp for the war effort, which resulted in thirty-six thousand
 
 9 acres being planted in seed hemp that year.  The U.S. Department
 
10 of Agriculture also promoted industrial hemp as producing four
 
11 times more pulp than trees for paper production.  In 1994,
 
12 President Clinton designated industrial hemp as a strategic food
 
13 source.
 
14      There are more than two dozen strains of industrial hemp
 
15 that can be used for fiber and fuel production and that contain
 
16 low percentages of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the mind-altering
 
17 compound found in marijuana.  Several foreign countries,
 
18 including Australia, Canada, England, France, and Germany,
 
19 currently allow agricultural production of industrial hemp in all
 
20 or part of their countries.  In the United States, a pilot
 
21 project for agricultural research on industrial hemp has been
 
22 carried out with official government permission in Imperial
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 Valley, California.  The growing of industrial hemp in the United
 
 2 States is allowed only by federal permit, and currently three
 
 3 states have permits pending to grow industrial hemp in their
 
 4 jurisdictions.
 
 5      Although marijuana is the most, or one of the most, widely
 
 6 misused drugs in Germany and England (excluding alcohol), the
 
 7 illegal diversion or theft of industrial hemp has not resulted in
 
 8 serious law enforcement problems in either of these countries.
 
 9 Germany does not require a license or security measures while
 
10 England requires farmers to be licensed and to plant industrial
 
11 hemp fields where there is poor public access and visibility.
 
12 Based on seven years of combined experience in Germany and
 
13 England with the growing and selling of industrial hemp under
 
14 widely differing regulatory conditions, the legislature believes
 
15 that the illegal diversion or theft of industrial hemp will not
 
16 be a serious law enforcement problem in either Hawaii or the
 
17 United States.
 
18      Canada, which is a signatory of the United Nation's Single
 
19 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, recently adopted regulations
 
20 controlling the activities relating to the importation,
 
21 exportation, possession, production (including cultivation,
 
22 breeding, and processing), distribution (including sale, offering
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 for sale, provision, transport, sending, and delivering), and
 
 2 testing/assaying of industrial hemp.  As of June 30, 1998, two
 
 3 hundred fifty-one commercial cultivation licenses (accounting for
 
 4 5,930 acres of land), five importation licenses, five exportation
 
 5 licenses, fourteen processing licenses, fourteen distribution
 
 6 licenses, six breeding licenses, one seed testing license, and
 
 7 three THC testing licenses have been granted by the Canadian
 
 8 government since the adoption of the foregoing regulations.
 
 9      The legislature finds that industrial hemp is being used
 
10 throughout the industrialized world to manufacture such building
 
11 materials as caulking, cement, fiberboard, flooring, insulation,
 
12 paint, paneling, particle board, plaster, plywood, reinforced
 
13 concrete, and roofing.  Not only does hemp replace the need for
 
14 wood, bricks, and fiberglass insulation, but the hardened
 
15 material is moisture-, rot-, rodent-, insect-, and fire-
 
16 resistant.  It is also many times lighter than cement, sets in a
 
17 couple of hours, and provides both thermal and sound insulation.
 
18      Because of its superior strength and flexibility, which
 
19 gives it the ability to resist stress-induced cracking and
 
20 breaking, hemp-reinforced building materials are useful in areas
 
21 that are susceptible to earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes,
 
22 such as the Hawaiian islands.  Fiberboard made from hemp is twice
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 as strong and three times more elastic than fiberboard made from
 
 2 wood.  Although it is used presently as a supplement to wood-
 
 3 based fiberboard because of its superior strength, hemp
 
 4 composites may eventually replace their wooden counterparts.
 
 5      Hemp seed oil is being used to manufacture a very durable,
 
 6 long-lasting house paint that renders wood highly resistant to
 
 7 water, and is non-toxic to human beings unlike the volatile
 
 8 petroleum products and synthetic chemicals used presently to
 
 9 manufacture other paints.  When treated with more traditional
 
10 building materials such as bitumen (a substance similar to tar or
 
11 asphalt), industrial hemp can be manufactured into a pourable
 
12 type of floor insulation that hardens into a solid mass that will
 
13 not shift under pressure.  Hemp fiber concrete pipes cost less
 
14 than one-third the price of conventional polypropylene (a
 
15 material similar to plastic) reinforced concrete pipes, and have
 
16 greater flexibility, elasticity, and resistance to cracking than
 
17 conventional petrochemical reinforced concrete pipes.
 
18      The processing of industrial hemp into building materials
 
19 that are suited to environmental conditions found along the
 
20 Pacific Rim would provide a great boost to Hawaii's construction
 
21 and manufacturing industries since insects, hurricanes, and
 
22 earthquakes are responsible for millions of dollars in property
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 damage each year.
 
 2      The legislature finds that biomass produced from plant
 
 3 growth has a heating value of five thousand to eight thousand BTU
 
 4 per pound, with virtually no ash or sulphur produced during
 
 5 combustion.  About six per cent of contiguous United States land
 
 6 area put into biomass cultivation could supply all current
 
 7 domestic demands for oil and gas.  Industrial hemp is the number
 
 8 one biomass producer on planet earth:  ten tons per acre in
 
 9 approximately four months.  It is a woody plant containing
 
10 seventy-seven per cent cellulose; in comparison, wood produces
 
11 sixty per cent cellulose.
 
12      Corn, sugarcane, and kenaf are the plants most often used to
 
13 produce alternative fuels because they grow so much in a single
 
14 season that they produce a great deal of biomass to be refined
 
15 and processed into methane, methanol, or ethanol.  But, they are
 
16 still more expensive than petroleum-based fuels.  Industrial hemp
 
17 is the world's champion photosynthesizer.  It converts the sun's
 
18 energy into biomass more efficiently than any other plant, with
 
19 at least four times the biomass/cellulose potential and eight
 
20 times the methanol potential of corn.  It could compete
 
21 economically with petroleum-based fuels.
 
22      When coal and oil are burned, they release pollutants --
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 including sulphur -- into the atmosphere.  Biomass fuels release
 
 2 fewer pollutants, and the fuel source spends the growing season
 
 3 removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through
 
 4 photosynthesis.  Biomass fuels contain no sulphur.  The burning
 
 5 of coal and oil deposits are the greatest artificial sources of
 
 6 "acid rain" on the planet; and the accumulation of excess carbon
 
 7 dioxide and water vapor in the earth's atmosphere could
 
 8 eventually bring about global climatic changes through the
 
 9 "greenhouse effect".
 
10      Industrial hemp is capable of growing in all climatic zones
 
11 in America, including Hawaii.  It would not compete with food
 
12 crops for the most productive farm land, and it could be grown in
 
13 rotation with food crops or on marginal farm land where food crop
 
14 production is not profitable.
 
15      The legislature finds that because of their inability to be
 
16 mechanically shredded without constantly clogging the machinery,
 
17 large rolls of used carpeting cannot be burned in the city and
 
18 county of Honolulu's H-POWER plant and must be buried in one of
 
19 the two remaining landfills on the island of Oahu.  Although
 
20 modern carpeting is comprised of nylon, polyester, polypropylene,
 
21 and other synthetic fibers to reduce its cost and increase its
 
22 durability, the inherent properties of these materials also
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 render used carpeting resistant to biodegradation once it is
 
 2 buried in a landfill.  Polyester and other synthetics are based
 
 3 on petroleum, the drilling, shipping, refining, processing of
 
 4 which have resulted in contaminated underground sources of
 
 5 drinking water, the contamination of nearshore fisheries, air
 
 6 pollution, and occupational exposure to carcinogens.
 
 7      While used carpeting is environmentally benign, it does take
 
 8 up limited landfill space; for example, in 1993 it was estimated
 
 9 that one per cent of all municipal solid waste in the United
 
10 States by weight and two per cent of all municipal waste by
 
11 volume consisted of post-consumer carpet.  Industrial hemp
 
12 carpeting is biodegradable and can be composted instead of
 
13 landfilled; is manufactured from a renewable resource that will
 
14 never exhaust itself; and is environmentally friendly and
 
15 comprised of materials that are not toxic to human beings and
 
16 other life forms.  Although industrial hemp carpeting is strong
 
17 and durable, it can be composted and used to enrich (fertilize)
 
18 fields, lawns, gardens, and planters in a manner that does not
 
19 contribute to groundwater pollution; and coastal water, lake, and
 
20 stream pollution.
 
21      The legislature finds that hemp seed oil:
 
22      (1)  Is reputed to be a highly nutritious, essential hair
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1           and skin aid for promoting growth and slowing the aging
 
 2           process;
 
 3      (2)  Is reputed to be an excellent healing and moisturizing
 
 4           process for broken and damaged skin, which may be
 
 5           particularly useful for sufferers of eczema, psoriasis,
 
 6           and mastalgia (breast pain); and
 
 7      (3)  Is reputed to be the highest natural carrier of the
 
 8           combination of essential fatty acids "linoleic",
 
 9           "linolenic", and "gamma-linolenic", and provides the 3-
 
10           to-1 ratio of linoleic acid to linolenic acid that has
 
11           been claimed by nutritionally-oriented doctors to be
 
12           the optimum balance for human health.
 
13      Essential fatty acids are compounds that, by definition,
 
14 must be obtained through the diet for the proper growth and
 
15 functioning of the human body.  They form other compounds that
 
16 help organ muscles to contract, regulate stomach acid, lower
 
17 blood pressure, and regulate temperature.  They also aid in fat
 
18 transport and metabolism.  Essential fatty acids are necessary
 
19 for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, hormone
 
20 regulation, and for breaking up cholesterol deposits in the
 
21 arteries.  A deficiency of essential fatty acids causes changes
 
22 in cell structure that can result in brittle and dull hair, nail
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 problems, dandruff, allergies, and dermatitis.
 
 2      Hemp seed oil extracted from government-approved strains of
 
 3 industrial hemp have very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol --
 
 4 somewhere around 8 parts per million (8 ppm) for refined oil and
 
 5 21 parts per million (21 ppm) for natural oil.  Consequently, it
 
 6 is not possible to "get high" on hemp seed oil.
 
 7      The legislature further finds that soil erosion control
 
 8 blankets made from industrial hemp:
 
 9      (1)  Can absorb and dissipate the tremendous amount of
 
10           energy released by falling rain and running water,
 
11           which in turn can help to protect fertilizer and soil
 
12           while keeping seeds in place;
 
13      (2)  Can slow down the surface movement (velocity) of runoff
 
14           water with minimum disturbance to the soil underneath
 
15           the blanket and can absorb moisture for release to the
 
16           soil after a runoff event;
 
17      (3)  Can moderate extreme diurnal variations in soil
 
18           temperatures and can conserve moisture in the soil to
 
19           nurture the growth of emerging vegetative cover during
 
20           its most vulnerable period;
 
21      (4)  Can promote the development of fertile grasslands and
 
22           can contribute to good soil health by gradually
 

 
 
 
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 1           decomposing into a rich organic mulch when they are no
 
 2           longer needed for erosion control; and
 
 3      (5)  Can reduce the loss of soft, loose topsoil to constant
 
 4           windy conditions and can prevent the undesirable
 
 5           exposure of hardpan, which is resistant to natural
 
 6           vegetative growth and cultivation.
 
 7      Soil erosion control blankets made from coconut husk (coir)
 
 8 fibers have been recommended successfully by the Natural
 
 9 Resources Conservation Service in Kona on the island of Hawaii to
 
10 reduce soil erosion caused by ephemeral (intermittent) streams.
 
11      SECTION 2.  This Act shall be known and may be cited as the
 
12 "Hawaii Strategic Industrial Hemp Development Act of 1999".
 
13      SECTION 3.  As used in this Act, unless the context clearly
 
14 requires otherwise:
 
15      "Industrial hemp" means any variety of Cannabis sativa L.
 
16 with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not
 
17 exceed one per cent on a dry weight basis; that meets the
 
18 standards set forth by Health Canada as of July 1, 1999; and that
 
19 is grown in compliance with federal and state permit conditions.
 
20      SECTION 4.  The University of Hawaii at Hilo shall study the
 
21 feasibility and desirability of industrial hemp production in
 
22 Hawaii.  The study shall include an analysis of required soils
 

 
 
 
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 1 and growing conditions; seed availability and varieties,
 
 2 including in-the-ground seed variety trials; harvest methods;
 
 3 market economies; and environmental benefits.  The University of
 
 4 Hawaii shall report its findings and recommendations to the
 
 5 legislature not less than twenty days prior to the convening of
 
 6 the regular session of 2001.
 
 7      SECTION 5.  The University of Hawaii at Hilo shall obtain
 
 8 all federal and state permits needed to legally grow industrial
 
 9 hemp for fiber or seed production prior to importing any
 
10 non-sterilized industrial hemp seeds capable of germination into
 
11 the State.
 
12      SECTION 6.  Industrial hemp with a delta-9
 
13 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed one per
 
14 cent on a dry weight basis; that meets the standards set forth by
 
15 Health Canada as of July 1, 1999; and that is grown in compliance
 
16 with federal and state permit conditions, shall not be construed
 
17 as "marijuana" under chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, or
 
18 chapter 712, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Except as otherwise
 
19 provided in this Act, in the event of a conflict between this Act
 
20 and chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, or chapter 712, Hawaii
 
21 Revised Statutes, this Act shall control.  In the event of a
 
22 conflict between a standard set forth by Health Canada as of
 

 
 
 
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                                     H.B. NO.32         
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 July 1, 1999, and any federal or state permit condition, the
 
 2 federal or state permit condition shall control.
 
 3      SECTION 7.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
 4 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $100,000, or so much
 
 5 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, for the
 
 6 University of Hawaii at Hilo to carry out the purposes of this
 
 7 Act; provided that not more than ten per cent of the sum
 
 8 appropriated by this Act may be expended by the University of
 
 9 Hawaii at Hilo until all federal and state permits needed to
 
10 legally grow industrial hemp for fiber or seed production are
 
11 obtained.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 
12 University of Hawaii.
 
13      SECTION 8.  If any provision of this Act, or the application
 
14 thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
 
15 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
 
16 the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
 
17 or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are
 
18 severable.
 
19      SECTION 9.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999, and
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 1 shall be repealed on June 30, 2001.
 
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