HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
STATE OF HAWAII
STATE CAPITOL HONOLULU, HAWAII 96813
INDUSTRIAL HEMP [CANNABIS SATIVA]-ECONOMIC VIABILITY AND
REDISCOVERING INDUSTRIAL HEMP
Countries, such as France, Spain. China. India. Korea and satellite nations of the former
Soviet Union have been cultivating industrial hemp for years. A 1961 United Nations Single
Convention Treaty specifically allows cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes. and
the more recent NAFTA and GATT international trade agreements recognize hemp as a valid
agricultural crop. These international agreements form the basis for reintroducing
industrial hemp today.
Some Western countries that had earlier followed the U.S. in banning industrial hemp, have
recently changed their legislation.
Canada granted its first public research permit for industrial hemp cultivation in 1994.
In 1995 it granted 12 permits, including one for seed production and two for research test
plots maintained by the government agricultural departments.
Australia has also begun growing low-THC hemp on an experimental basis. Field trials are
being conducted in Tasmania and South Australia, and a two-year study is under way at the
University of Tasmania to see whether hemp cultivation would be viable under local
conditions. Two major paper companies are conducting their own laboratory pulping trials
using materials from the experimental fields with a view to utilizing hemp as a
strengthening supplement to wood and straw based paper.
In Great Britain commercial hemp cultivation, though still on a small scale, is under way.
Under licenses from the UK Home Office 2000 acres were grown in 1994, up from 1500 acres
in 1993. Since the first British hemp was woven into cloth in 1995, English hemp growers
have been looking forward to supplying the two biggest markets for ecological products in
the world--the U.S. and Germany--both of which had maintained their ban on industrial
hemp. England's advantageous position started eroding, however, when Germany legalized
hemp cultivation in late 1995.
Before the publication of the 1993 bestseller, The Rediscovery of the Resource Hemp
Cannabis Marihuana [Herer, Broeckers, KATALYSE] there had been little visible
interest in hemp in Germany. However, since then a strong hemp lobby has emerged,
consisting of Germany's principal farmers' association, representatives from the textile
and printing industry, and environmental groups. While these groups set the stage, the
legislative changes came about through party and local government initiatives.
Four US states introduced industrial hemp bills in their 1996 legislatures: Hawaii,
Vermont, Colorado, and Missouri. Hawaii's bills were held in committee. Colorado's bill
[SB 67] passed the Senate but was defeated in the House. Vermont's bill [H783] passed the
House and is on its way to the Senate. In Missouri the Hemp Production Act of 1996 
was heard, but not voted on, in the Agricultural Committee.
Also in the U.S., an executive order [June 3, 1994. No. 12919] signed by President Clinton
included hemp as a strategic food resource. The Commissioner of Agriculture for the State
of Kentucky, Ed Logsdon, announced in 1994 that "it's time to look at producing hemp
on a commercial basis." Outside of legislative chambers, hemp supporters have formed
a multitude of special interest organizations. One of the newest and largest
creations is the North American Industrial Hemp Council [October 1995]. A parallel
organization, the Canadian
Hemp Council, was formed in Canada [February 1996].
Why this recent commotion about industrial hemp? The initiatives are driven by economic
and environmental visions of a flourishing hemp industry in the future. The growing world
population requires an increasing supply of resources. Deforestation has been depleting
the planet's timber supply while the demand for paper skyrockets. Unlike trees, industrial
hemp produces two important resources from a single plant--cellulose and seed oil--so it
can be used to make high quality paper or cloth. Compounding its benefits is the short
growing cycle for hemp: four months compared to at least seven years for pulp trees.
VERSATILITY AND ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP
Industrial hemp produces three main raw materials: bast fiber, hurds, and seeds. Using
these three ingredients in different manners make industrial hemp a versatile product.
Moreover, all hemp-based products, including plastics, are biodegradable.
[e.g. paneling, fiberboard, cement blocks. insulation material]: According to Dave Seber.
former president of C&S, a research and development company exploring fibroid
alternatives, the future importance of hemp will probably not lie in the areas that hemp
has traditionally been associated with, e.g. textiles, but rather in
"composites," such as medium density boards and cement-like materials.
Russia, Poland and other Eastern European countries already manufacture composite boards
from hemp and other plant materials. In the U.S., researchers at the Washington State Wood
Composite Laboratory are working on further refining the technology for hempbased medium
density fiberboards. In fact, some of the
first [19951 Canadian hemp crop was contracted to produce samples of such boards. Though
of excellent quality, the boards are not yet economical and their future profitability
depends on the price of woodchips. which have been fluctuating greatly over the last year.
Hemp hurds, alone or blended with wood. can be used in existing mills without major
changes in equipment.
In 1916 the USDA reported that hemp hurds could produce four times as much paper per acre
as trees. With increased yields and improved technology this may now be higher. In
addition, hemp paper is stronger. can be recycled more often, and lasts longer than tree
Currently, all hemp paper sold in the US is manufactured abroad and must be imported,
resulting in prices that are 2-3 times higher than tree paper. Kimberly Clarke, an
American Fortune 500 company which manufactures hemp paper for cigarettes and Bibles in
France, sells much of their cigarette paper to American companies. Tree Free EcoPaper of
Oregon imports paper manufactured in China. The company is in the process of building a
paper mill in Oregon that would create 400 new jobs, but without a domestic hemp supply,
raw materials will have to be imported, keeping prices high. Germany's largest paper
manufacturer has recently converted two mills for hemp-based paper production. Small
specialty mills can convert to hemp without too much difficulty and expense, but large
scale paper mills would need to retool 40-60% of their equipment.
[e.g. diapers, denim, shoes, fine textiles]: As one of the strongest natural fibers
available, hemp is an excellent raw material for making various kinds of rope and twine.
It is also used to make a wide range of textile products from fine linens to coarse
canvas. [Incidentally, the word canvas is derived from cannabis.]
Given currently available technology, production costs for hemp textiles, relative to
other fibers, are still high. Bast fibers, such as hemp, tend to have high production
costs because they make up only a certain portion of the plant system and must be
separated from the rest of the stem before they can be used in textile or paper
production. Besides being labor intensive. the processing of hemp is also hard on existing
baling equipment, as it will tend to wrap around the cylinder.
There is, however, a growing market for hemp fabric. Several companies in the US produce
textile products from imported hemp fabric. Wait Disney Co. carries hemp products. Esprit
will soon begin offering hemp clothes as part of its collection. Fashion designer Calvin
Klein has announced plans to use hemp in his clothing lines. Deja Shoe, a company that
produces footwear from recycables and earth-friendly materials, will soon be offering hemp
shoes, and 100% hemp Converse All Stars are already available. Adidas, Vans and other
shoemakers are either marketing hemp-topped sneakers or planning to do so.
32-38% of hemp hurds and 53-74% of hemp bark is made up of cellulose, the basic building
block of plastics. Until the 1930s hemp-based cellophane, celluloid and other products
were common, and Henry Ford used hemp to make car doors and fenders. Today hemp hurds can
be used to make new plastic or blended into recycled plastic.
Hemp seeds are 20-25% protein. They can be used-to make non-dairy cheese, milk, ice cream,
and hemp butter. Food products made out of hemp seed are high in calcium, magnesium,
phosphorous, potassium, and Vitamin A.
Hemp seeds can also be pressed for their oil. Hemp seed oil is a rich source of
cholesterol fighting essential fatty acids (EFA). U.S. law allows imports of sterilized
hemp seeds, but such importation greatly increases production costs while the
sterilization process harms the nutritional value of the seeds and hastens rancidity. Hemp
are also commonly used in birdseed and as feed for domesticated animals.
[soap, lip balm. cosmetics]: Hemp oil's high EFA content makes it a suitable ingredient
for cosmetics. Most moisturizing products that are on the market today are made from
saturated oils which are not absorbed by the skin cells, but only coat the surface to
prevent further moisture loss. In contrast, lotions that are high in EFA's can be absorbed
into the cells.
Paints and Varnishes
Until the 1930's, most paints were made from hemp and linseed oils. Beyond coating the
surface, hemp oil soaks into wood and preserves it.
High quality absorbents
Hemp products are excellent absorbents used in horse stables, cat litter, or oil cleanups.
They are more absorbent than wood shavings and compost faster.
Seed oil can be combined with 15% methanol to create a substitute for diesel fuel which
burns 70% cleaner than petroleum diesel. It is also a good base for non-toxic printing
inks. While such inks are currently made from soybeans, hemp is higher in linoleic acids,
which means it requires less processing and is a superior drying oil. Hemp seed oil also
makes a good all purpose lubricant.
Cargill manufactures a line of 100% plant-based plastic silverware. Plant-based plastics,
such as shopping bags, are biodegradable and can be composted at home. In Germany an 100%
hemp oil-based laundry detergent is about to go into production. The detergent's
advantages include environmentally friendly production and high biodegradability. It can
also be made into an industrial cleaner that removes oil and tar from textiles.
POTENTIAL VS. REALITY
Could industrial hemp [if its cultivation is legalized] lead to a thriving industry,
creating employment and profits? Theoretical potential and economic realities are two
different things. So far, legal constraints have prevented industrial hemp from being
grown on a large scale in most developed nations, so that there has been little incentive
to develop new technology that would maximize hemp's profitability.
The bottom line of growing hemp is the cost of transportation to a processing center.
Since hemp is a bulky crop, it is not cost-effective to ship hemp far for processing. In
terms of economies of scale this would appear to be a disadvantage. However. in terms of
community economic development, hemp's bulkiness means that, if successful, hemp
cultivation will lead to local processing centers and jobs in small weaving factories or
seed crushing facilities, and pulp mills. Hemp holds the promise to revitalize certain
Research & Development
Technology to turn hemp into usable fiber and fiber into desired products is available and
new technological developments are under way. Silsoe College in Bedforshire, Great
Britain, for example, has developed a machine comparable to the cotton gin machine, which
over two hundred years ago helped reduce the price of cotton a hundred fold. This
"decorticator," which is able to extract fiber from the stems of crops such as
hemp and flax cheaply, is now undergoing commercial trials. In Belgium a
"scutching" machine normally used to extract linen-grade fibers from flax, can
also extract fiber from hemp.
The primary focus in hemp technology has been on fiber processing. Work coming out of
German flax programs is now being applied to hemp, leading to processes which include a
steam explosion/cottonization process to produce cotton-like short fiber. Further
modifications or innovations will be needed for full-scale processing of hemp.
Some researchers in U.S. Department of Energy laboratories are studying microorganisms
that will detach crude cellulosic fibers from lignin, the natural glue which holds plants
together. The results could be applicable to hemp by making a larger part of the plant
usable as biomass for energy production.
More research needs to be done to create strains of hemp that are low in THC, high in
fiber and productivity and suited to specific growing conditions. Advances made in one
geographic location are not necessarily optimal elsewhere.
In the past, France has been the leader in breeding a low-THC industrial hemp seed that is
suited to Europe's cool climate. New, non-French low-THC hemp seed stock is under
development in Europe and is expected to be certified by the EEC in the near future.
Comparison with Other Crops
Industrial hemp has often been compared with other crops to show its high profitability.
As mentioned above, a 1916 Department of Agriculture report found that an acre of
industrial hemp produced four times as much dry fiber as an acre of trees.
Other comparisons can be made, but an equally valid, perhaps even better approach of
looking at hemp is one of scaling down expectations and looking at the minimum benefit.
This is what Joe Hickey, head of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative, does when talking
to his farmers. He reminds them what they will gain from growing hemp, even if hemp does
not make a penny more than a good crop of hay. Hemp is a good rotational crop which
stabilizes and enriches the soil, while keeping the field weed-free for the next planting
without the costs of herbicides. This is value added, which hay does not provide.
According to this view, anything beyond that
value, such as profits from a small decorticator or seed crushing facility, would be an
extra benefit to the community.
GROWING CONDITIONS OF HEMP
Hemp is an annual herbaceous plant that can grow to heights of 5-20 ft. during a 3-4 month
growing cycle. The plant's rapid growth suppresses weeds and eliminates the need for
herbicides, while its relative insensitivity to insects and fungal diseases allows hemp
farmers to forego the use of pesticides and insecticides.
Hemp cultivation requires good soil conditions and sufficient supplies of nitrogen and
water, especially during the first six weeks. During the early growth period it also
requires fertilizer. Later in the growing cycle nutrients are returned to the soil by
Male and female flowers are borne on different plants, though modern breeding in Europe
has produced "monoecious" [male and female flowers on the same plant] varieties.
Selecting monoecious strains overcomes the problem of different maturation times between
male and female plants and results in stalks of more uniform height and weight.
After harvesting, the crop must be retted, a process by which the "glue"
[pectin] that holds the fibers and hurds together is broken down. This can be done by
simply leaving the hemp stalks lying in the field for 4-5 weeks while mother nature
naturally decomposes the pectin, but new retting technologies produce better quality and
more uniform fibers in less time.
Because industrial hemp has been grown primarily in moderate climates, most of the
available seeds are bred with those climactic conditions in mind. A few low-THC and
fiber-rich variety, suited to a slightly warmer climate, are being developed in Hungary
under the name of
Kompolti. It is well known that high-THC marijuana grows well in subtropical climates, but
more breeding to minimize THC content and maximize fiber productivity in subtropical
climates may be necessary.
POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING. THE CULTIVATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP
In the U.S. the major popular misconceptions about growing industrial hemp, typically
voiced by law enforcement agencies, relate to the THC content of the plant.
Misconception #1: "Any plant with a 0.5-2.0% THC content can induce
The answer to this argument is fully developed in a scientific article [written in
German], authored by three individuals--two medical doctors and one Ph.D. [Michael Karus,
Franjo Grotenhermen, and Helmut Schaaf "Potential for misuse of industrial hemp as a
drug," in Bioresource Hemp Reader, April 1994]. The article draws on over thirty
scientific studies on the effects of the THC substance when smoked. Because smoking
produces a greater effect than oral ingestion, the results of these studies are not
negated by situations when THC is ingested orally. Below is a summary of two main points
made-in the article:
Point 1: There is no linear relationship between dosage and effect. Smoking two
hemp cigarettes, whatever the THC content, does not double the effect of one cigarette.
This means that industrial hemp with a THC content of less than 0.3% does not produce a
psycho-active effect even when consumed in large quantities.
Research results consistently show 5-10 mg THC to be the minimal amount to have any
measurable effect. This
amount, though measurable, is not yet perceptible by the smoker. In order to achieve the
"desired" effect, the smoker needs 15-25 mg, while 30-35 mg would produce a very
strong "high." Since studies also show that the effect depends on the THC being
inhaled in a short period of time, the amounts for minimal and desired effectiveness
presuppose inhalation within a very short time span.
A marijuana cigarette may be smoked as pure marijuana or mixed with tobacco. The typical
cigarette weighs 800-900 mg and is smoked in about 6 [if fast] to 18 [if slow] minutes.
The THC in the brain becomes traceable 14 seconds after first inhaling the substance. THC
content in the blood plasma reaches a peak after about 3 to 8 minutes during the smoking
process, and then falls rapidly again, even with continued smoking. The maximum euphoric
effect is reached in 20-30 minutes. and occurs after the THC plasma peak. The effect stays
for about 3 hours.
Using these figures, an average 800-900 mg cigarette made from 0.3% THC industrial hemp
contains 2.4 to 2.7 mg of THC, which means that a cigarette made from industrial hemp does
not achieve the minimal standard [5-10 mg] and is far less than the "desirable"
standard [15-25 mg].
After feeling no effects from a low THC cigarette, it is unlikely that smokers would
continue smoking this "brand." But even if they did, the effect of THC on the
body would not be cumulative.
Point 2: CBD as an antidote. In addition to THC, hemp also contains a substance
called cannabidiol [CBD] which functions as an antidote to THC. A CBD:THC proportion of
2:1 largely suppresses THC's psychoactive effects. While all cannabis contains both
substances, industrial hemp is low in THC [typically 0.06-0.3%] and high in CBD
[>0.5%], accounting for a CBD:THC proportion of over 5: 1.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is high in THC and low in CBD [<0.5%]. A chemical
analysis of about 100 hemp varieties found about 40 non-drug varieties with THC:CBD
proportions smaller than 1:5. In contrast. the eight drug varieties in the study had large
THC:CBD proportions ranging from 2.3:1 .to 7.4: 1.
The significance of these numbers lies in the fact that industrial hemp, even if it were
to induce a "high" [which it does not] comes along with an inbuilt
countereffect: CBD. [An interesting side note: Low-THC high CBD hemp cigarettes have been
successfully used to help chronic marijuana smokers shed their addiction.]
Misconception #2: "The effort to legalize hemp is a ruse to legalize the
There is an increase in the number of groups, companies and individuals who are supporting
the cultivation of industrial hemp. In January 1996, the American Farm Bureau Federation,
representing 4.6 million members, endorsed industrial hemp by stating: "We recommend
that American Farm Bureau Federation encourage research into the viability and economic
potential of industrial hemp production in the United States. We further recommend that
such research includes planting test plots in the United States using modern agricultural
techniques." The Colorado and Kentucky farm bureaus, along with other farming
associations, are also in support, while environmental groups see hemp as an alternative
for trees for paper.
Companies such as International Paper, Masonite, and Inland Container Corporation have
expressed an interest in hemp as an alternative fiber source. The International Paper
Company (IP), which has 72,000 employees and annual revenues of $513 billion, sent four
representatives to participate in the founding session of the North American Industrial
Hemp Council in
Minneapolis [October 1995]. Half a year earlier [March 1995], the Bioresource Hemp
Symposium, the largest-ever such meeting and trade show was held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Two hundred and forty participants from 20 countries attended, predominantly researchers
including scientists, engineers, and developers of hemp-based products.
Influential political leaders have gone on record in support of industrial hemp
cultivation. Canada's Health Minister Diane Marleau called hemp "an excellent
commercial and industrial type of crop" with "a great deal of potential."
In Germany, Health Minister Horst Seehofer supported lifting the ban on hemp cultivation,
saying "we now have strains of hemp which contain such small amounts of the drug THC
that they cannot be used for drug production. The principal argument against a continuing
ban on hemp cultivation is therefore no longer valid."
Additional evidence that the current movement pushing for legal hemp cultivation is not
tied to marijuana advocates lies in the fact the fact that those countries which have
legalized industrial hemp have not changed their drug and marijuana laws.
Misconception #3: "Legally cultivated hemp fields will be used to camouflage
Fields of industrial hemp are ill suited to serve as cover-up for marijuana patches.
Industrial hemp is planted about 1-3 inches apart in order to produce long stalks with a
minimum of branching. The density means that it is impossible to enter a field without
leaving a noticeable trail. In addition, low-THC male industrial hemp pollen destroys the
value of any nearby female marijuana plants. The THC content in marijuana is highest in
the flower but drops sharply with pollination. For this reason marijuana growers eliminate
their male plants in order to prevent pollination. Thus, they would be highly
unlikely to chose industrial hemp as a cover crop. Another factor is that male hemp plants
die earlier than their female counterparts, which means that hemp, unless grown for
seed.,is harvested before the female plant flowers and produces seeds.
Misconception #4: "There is no satisfactory licensing system to permit hemp
Licensing systems have been developed in Europe, Australia and Canada and are written into
legislation proposed to U.S. legislatures.
The control system in the U.K., where hemp is grown under licenses from the Home Office,
has generally worked well. In 1993 there were a few problems with plants being stolen from
some industrial hemp fields by people looking for a drug source. By 1995, however.
potential drug users appear to have gotten the message that industrial hemp serves them no
purpose and have left hemp fields alone.
The hemp bills that were introduced in Colorado and Vermont 1996 both contained detailed
licensing provisions. The Vermont bill [H. 783] requires all hemp growers to obtain a
state and a federal license. The state license will be valid for 24 months and not
transferable. In order to receive it the applicants must:
a. hold a license from the U.S. DEA;
b. be in compliance with all federal and state laws;
c. submit a $2,000 irrevocable letter of credit or surety bond;
d. obtain all seeds in compliance with the act;
e. demonstrate that all parts not used will be destroyed or recycled; and
f. maintain good record keeping.
The Colorado bill would have required each hemp grower to comply with all applicable
federal laws and to
register with a state registered hemp producing association that has bylaws and procedures
to adequately control production. The bill also required the association to provide
a. it registers only serious farmers (shown by filing evidence of financial
responsibility, through savings accounts or irrevocable letter of credit or surety bond of
$2,000, for use of any person suffering loss or in case a crop needs to be destroyed if
out of compliance);
b. it controls seeds;
c. it inspects, tests, and has sanctions for members who are repeatedly out of compliance;
d. it insures that parts (leaves and flowers) not being used are destroyed or recycled.
Misconception #5: "There is no standard for an acceptable THC level."
The good news is that there is a standard in place. The bad news is that this standard is
quite arbitrary and not necessarily the best one. The European Economic Community (EEC)
has agreed on certifying only strains of hemp that contain less than 0.3% THC, as measured
in the upper third of the leaf. However, the way this standard came about had more to do
with French economic interests than with scientific opinions. With a prior- near-monopoly
on 0.3% THC hemp seeds, it was in France's interests to push for this standard within the
EEC. The move was successful and has meant that European hemp growers, wishing to qualify
for EEC subsidies, purchase their seeds from France, creating a situation of insufficient
supplies and high prices.
In the meantime, new hemp varieties are being developed elsewhere. The former Soviet Union
originally set its standard at 0.2%. While Eastern European strains do not exceed that
limit, several are well below 0.2%. One
strain of low-THC hemp grown in the Ukraine, for example, contains as little as 0.06% THC.
Even though evidence shows that industrial hemp and marijuana are not the same, and even
though other law enforcement concerns have been addressed satisfactorily in other
countries, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency continues to oppose any legislation that would
distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana.
THE POLITICS OF HEMP
When hemp was first regulated in 1937, Congress did not intend to outlaw the legitimate
hemp industry. At Congressional hearings after the World War II "Hemp for
Victory" campaign, the Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
[forerunner of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency] said that marijuana regulations would not
have a negative impact on the commercial hemp industry.
Today, however, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies routinely oppose the
cultivation of industrial hemp, saying that it would "undermine the public
interest" by making marijuana more available. The agencies also oppose any
exploration of the topic at forums and meetings. In 1995, the DEA was deeply apprehensive
about the founding conference of the North American Industrial Hemp Forum. Prior to the
meeting Edwin Sholts, director of Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture Development and
Diversification Program, was contacted by several DEA representatives who told him the
gathering was "a dumb idea." When Sholts urged them to attend the conference to
discuss the issue, they declined.
Regardless of the U.S. DEA's position in the past, government has been known to change its
mind quickly. Five years after banishing the hemp industry in 1937, the federal
government, suddenly in need of fiber for its
war effort, changed its policies and encouraged American farmers to grow industrial hemp.
At the same time the U.S. Department of Agriculture produced a documentary film "Hemp
for Victory," extolling the virtues of the plant.
Canada's equivalent of the U.S. DEA finds that that country's police forces are
"reasonably happy" with their country's legislation regarding the experimental
cultivation of industrial hemp. According to Ross Hossie, Chief of Canada's International
Control and Licensing Division, Canadian police generally do not consider hemp cultivation
a "great idea," but they prefer to not take an opposing stand during the
legislative process. Instead, Hossie says, they are prepared to wait for the completed
legislation and regulations.
Some people have suggested that Congress should rethink the role of the DEA and place
industrial hemp under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture rather than leave
it under the control of the Drug Enforcement Agency. A similar question of whether to
place oversight over hemp cultivation under the agricultural or health department is under
consideration in Germany.
Will it take another national emergency to take action on industrial hemp? Elected
officials do not want to be seen as being soft on crime and they know that a vote in favor
of industrial hemp may be construed in this way. But the political effectiveness of
confusing marijuana and industrial hemp depends on a public that has a limited
understanding of the issue.
In Kentucky public opinion has shifted because of greater awareness. In 1993, the governor
convened a task force to explore the viability of hemp for the state. However, for reasons
unknown, the chairman disbanded his task force prematurely and issued a hastily assembled
report which was not endorsed by many of the task force members. The net effect of the
task force's creation and demise was that the issue of growing industrial hemp
received broad publicity in the Kentucky's media, in the process educating the state's
people about the difference between hemp and marijuana. As a result, a March 1996 survey
found 77% of Kentuckians favor reintroducing industrial hemp in their state.
There is no guarantee for a future of hemp in the U.S. or in Hawaii, but given hemp's
versatility there is a fair chance of success. Legislators, seeking to minimize the
political risk associated with the hemp issue, are looking for commitments by large and
respectable companies interested in investing in the new industry. That, however, may be
putting the cart before the horse. What is needed first is a better understanding of the
issues involved and small scale experimental cultivation to generate some of the data that
businesses would like to have in hand before committing themselves.
This report was designed to provide some background information and to help generate a
public discussion in Hawaii.
"Why use the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which
required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in
the annual growth of the fields?"
Prepared for: Representative Cynthia Thielen, Minority Floor Leader
By: Gertraude Roth-Li, Minority Research Staff
Date: April 17, 1996