Aloha e Friends,

July 7, 2016 will hopefully be remembered as the day we began moving forward with a new industry. This is because Governor Ige signed SB 2659, a bill I introduced to allow for a pilot research program for industrial hemp which includes its commercial cultivation:

If you’re not familiar, hemp is a cousin of marijuana but it can’t get you high. It’s used in over 25,000 products, including food, clothing, fuel, and even medicine. Unfortunately, hemp hasn’t been grown in the U.S. until very recently because our federal government has had hemp on the Schedule 1 drug list with drugs like heroin and LSD. We’re able to move forward with our program because it will be set up under our Department of Agriculture, which is authorized under the federal Farm Bill.

Before long, we’ll have local farmers growing this sustainable crop and keeping some of that $620 million that’s going oversees every year to pay for hemp products made in countries, like China and Canada. Let’s get this hempening!

And as always, please feel free to contact me at 586-6830 or email if I can help you or your family in any way. You can also follow me on Twitter @senmikegabbard, Instagram @sengabbard, or Facebook at

Me ke aloha pumehana and hemp, hemp hooray!, 

Mike Gabbard, State Senator, District 20

Chair, Water, Land, and Agriculture Committee


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