STAND. COM. REP. NO. 388

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 655

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 655 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEMP,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to give authority to the Department of Agriculture to align state hemp production administrative rules with federal law when concerning exemptions for fiber, fuel, and seed grain hemp crops.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Hemp Farmers Association, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Aina Hookupu o Kilauea, and eleven individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals.

 

Your Committees find that Hawaii's hemp industry is the most regulated in the nation and that overregulation hinders valuable growth in the industry, which otherwise could foster sustainable resources and food security in Hawaii, particularly with regard to the fiber, fuel, and seed grain sectors. Your Committees additionally find that there are numerous projects in the State examining the many uses of hemp, but most of these projects import hemp due to the regulatory barriers to growing hemp in Hawaii. This measure gives the Department of Agriculture authority to align state hemp regulations with federal law to minimize any unnecessary regulations that hamper the growth and production of Hawaii's hemp industry.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting language as recommended by the Hawaii Hemp Farmers Association, which gives the Department of Agriculture the authority to regulate commercial hemp production rules to align with federal laws;

 

(2) Repealing unnecessary statutory language relating to nuisance, as recommended by the Department of Agriculture, since pre-existing regulations and authority under the Department of Health and county land use ordinances already address the areas of nuisance referenced, and to avoid confusion and any challenges brought on by a duplicative enforcement framework; and

 

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 655, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 655, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs,

 

________________________________

GLENN WAKAI, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair