HEMP BILL CLEARS HURDLE IN THE HOUSE

Hawaii reporter Logo February 27, 2013

The House Finance Committee unanimously passed HB154 HD2, to establish an industrial hemp research pilot program, on Monday, February 25, 2013. A primary focus of the research is phytoremediation, the process by which the hemp plant draws toxins out of the soil and processes them safely through its roots, stalk, branches, and leaves, leaving the soil refreshed and ready for the next crop.

Lawmakers are working to expand the scope of the research to include the viability of industrial hemp as a biofuel feedstock, an application that has shown promise elsewhere.

HB154 now goes to the floor of the House for a third reading, after which it goes to the Senate.

“This is great news for Hawaii’s agricultural industry,” said State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay), who cosponsored HB154. “Phytoremediation is how the hemp plant actually cleans pesticides, oil, and other toxins from the soil it’s growing in. They planted hemp to clean the soil at Chernobyl — surely our overstressed agricultural lands could benefit from it, too.”

“The bill’s passage through three House committees also is a good sign that people are recognizing that hemp is a really useful plant,” Thielen added. “Not just for phytoremediation, but in making clothing, termite-proof building materials, food products, and biofuel. Hawaii is poised to really take advantage of hemp cultivation, the way that Canada, China, Japan, and several European countries already do.”

HB154 was introduced by Thielen, Speaker Joseph Souki, Representative Derek Kawakami, Representative Sylvia Luke, and Representative Angus McKelvey.

HB154’s companion legislation, HCR3 and HR6, which call on Congress and the President to remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, passed the Hawaii House of Representatives earlier in February.

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Hawaii Reporter Article; http://www.hawaiireporter.com/hemp-bill-clears-hurdle-in-the-hawaii-house/123

 

HEMP BILL CLEARS HURDLE IN THE HOUSE

ImageThe House Finance Committee unanimously passed HB154 HD2, to establish an industrial hemp research pilot program, on Monday, February 25, 2013. A primary focus of the research is phytoremediation, the process by which the hemp plant draws toxins out of the soil and processes them safely through its roots, stalk, branches, and leaves, leaving the soil refreshed and ready for the next crop.

Lawmakers are working to expand the scope of the research to include the viability of industrial hemp as a biofuel feedstock, an application that has shown promise elsewhere.

HB154 now goes to the floor of the House for a third reading, after which it goes to the Senate.

“This is great news for Hawaii’s agricultural industry,” said State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay), who cosponsored HB154. “Phytoremediation is how the hemp plant actually cleans pesticides, oil, and other toxins from the soil it’s growing in. They planted hemp to clean the soil at Chernobyl — surely our overstressed agricultural lands could benefit from it, too.”

“The bill’s passage through three House committees also is a good sign that people are recognizing that hemp is a really useful plant,” Thielen added. “Not just for phytoremediation, but in making clothing, termite-proof building materials, food products, and biofuel. Hawaii is poised to really take advantage of hemp cultivation, the way that Canada, China, Japan, and several European countries already do.”

HB154 was introduced by Thielen, Speaker Joseph Souki, Representative Derek Kawakami, Representative Sylvia Luke, and Representative Angus McKelvey.

HB154’s companion legislation, HCR3 and HR6, which call on Congress and the President to remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, passed the Hawaii House of Representatives earlier in February.

Rep. Gene Ward Addresses HB932 – Mineral Resources

RELATING TO MINERAL RESOURCES.
Report Title: Mineral Resources
Description: Promotes renewable energy in Hawaii by: (1) providing that all penalties, fees, and costs established and collected by the Department of Land and Natural Resources pursuant to Chapter 182, Hawaii Revised Statutes, be deposited in the Special Land and Development Fund; (2) including geothermal resources within the definition of a renewable energy producer; and (3) clarifying the permitting procedures for regulators and renewable energy developers considering geothermal development. (HB932 HD1)

2/20/2013 H Passed Third Reading with none voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Fale, McDermott, Ward voting no (3) and none excused (0). Transmitted to Senate.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAContact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Hemp plant is exciting agricultural opportunity for Hawaii By Rep. Cynthia Thielen

Image February 19, 2013

It is ironic that our country’s Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper, because any mention of hemp today is likely to be met with raised eyebrows.

However, the public perception of hemp, which is not the same plant as marijuana, might be on the verge of a dramatic national shift.

Last week, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I am convinced that allowing (hemp’s) production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy. The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me.”

McConnell is cosponsoring the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013.

For centuries, hemp was a major crop in the Americas, Europe and Asia, where it was — and still is — used in rope, textiles, nets, paper, oils, cosmetics and food. Abraham Lincoln illuminated his home with lamp oil made from hemp seeds. The Puritans grew hemp, as did George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The Founding Fathers promoted a hemp-based economy for the new country. Some of the colonies even required farmers to grow the endlessly useful crop, seeing it as necessary to their survival.

Our state has a chance to lead the nation in this exciting agricultural opportunity. Hawaii’s climate and soil offer ideal conditions for cultivation — and in return, where hemp grows, it cleanses the soil of pesticides, oil, gasoline and other toxins through a process called “phytoremediation.” Industrial hemp phytoremediation works so well, it was used to help clean up and stop further soil contamination after the nuclear power plant catastrophe at Chernobyl.

This soil-cleansing characteristic is the focus of House Bill 154, a bill moving fast through the Legislature, which authorizes the state Board of Agriculture to establish an industrial hemp remediation pilot program. The purpose clause of the bill explains that the “state’s extensive agricultural operations in the past have left toxins in vast tracts of land. Phytoremediation will remove these toxins.”

HB 154 establishes a two-year hemp phytoremediation pilot project to extract toxins such as metals, pesticides, solvents, explosive and crude oil without the need to remove any of the contaminated topsoil. This process will leave a clean, balanced and nutrient-rich soil, which can then be safely used for agriculture or improving conservation habitats.

Today, in Hawaii and the rest of this country, you can buy hemp beer, hemp iced tea, hemp carryall bags, hemp shirts, hemp sheets, blankets and tortilla chips (corn chips sprinkled with hemp seeds). You can even wrap your baby’s bottom in hemp diapers. And hemp-seed oil isn’t just for Honest Abe’s lamps. The oil from this little seed is packed with essential amino acids, essential fatty acids (Omega 3, Omega 6), and magnesium.

We must get beyond the irrational opposition to this valuable plant. We know Hawaii is an ideal place to grow hemp — we did it in 1999, with the Hawaii Industrial Hemp Research Project. We can do it again.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorialspremium/20130218_Hemp_plant_is_exciting_agricultural_opportunity_for_Hawaii.html?id=191580861