Gov. David Ige announced vetoes of 18 bills passed in 2019, including one that would have loosened the restrictions on growing hemp in Hawaii. Farmers are frustrated, but the governor says patience is required to stay in line with federal rules.
This morning we heard from farmers on Kauai and Maui in advance of an upcoming Hemp Conference this weekend. What is the way forward? What are the barriers in the way of success? What other states have pulled out in front of Hawaii in the search for an alternative crop here in the islands now that the sun has set on sugar? What are the downsides of growing hemp? How much water does it use? Some states are wrestling with the noxious smell, or regulations that are slow to materialize.
There are a handful of bills dealing with industrial hemp before the state legislature this session. Some lawmakers are looking at ways to help 675 Maui sugar workers who are scheduled to lose their jobs at the end of the year. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.