In the latter part of 2018 a few local Kauai farmers and a few other Oregon Hemp friends started a conversation regarding the Hemp Pilot Program in Hawaii and the anticipated passing of The 2018 farm bill or Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 descheduling Industrial Hemp from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5 (signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2018).Several Kauai farmers were Hawaii Industrial hemp program permit holders and anticipated the political advocacy needed in this new emerging industry in Hawaii to best serve the Hawaii Hemp Farmers in one of the world’s premier environments for hemp cultivation whether it’s for land regeneration, health treatments and supplements or agricultural economic productivity. In our eyes Hawaii has a chance to “get it right” sooner than later under this new farm bill. Many states such as Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California have paved the way through challenges and have an abundance of “lessons learned” in the history of multi-layered legislation that has presented its challenges both as a commodity, as farmers and proveyors.
Where relationships are highly regarded in a multi-cultural island setting in the middle of the Pacific it was important that we came together as a united front to not only represent hemp farmers across Hawaii but to plan and implement our message utilizing the various skill sets of the group to get our voices heard for the best possible outcome as the state legislates for the rules and regulations under the law according to the 2018 Farm Bill.
Advocacy goes hand in hand with education and the HHFA hopes to continue its work as a volunteer non-profit organization to continue to support the emerging Hawaii industrial hemp industry and all hemp endeavors to come.