Windward Legislator joins national leaders petitioning DEA
News Release from Office of Rep Cynthia Thielen June 17, 2016
Honolulu –This week, Hawai‘i State Representative Cynthia Thielen (Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) joined a 26-member coalition of farmers, state legislators, scientists, merchants, entrepreneurs, environmentalists and a former U.S. Attorney in filing an official rulemaking petition demanding that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) remove industrial hemp from the federal drug schedules.
"Industrial hemp farming is at the starting gates and ready to sprint ahead here in Hawai‘i as well as throughout our nation. It is a travesty that this incredible crop with 25,000 uses is not growing right now on fallow agricultural lands because of false presumptions and archaic definitions perpetuated by the DEA," said Representative Thielen, adding, "The bureaucratic and legal maze that needs to be maneuvered in order to simply get viable growing seed is unnecessary and discouraging to our farmers who basically want to make a living. Taking this wonderful crop, that can't get anyone "high", off the Controlled Substances List is long overdue. I am looking for a quick and positive response from the DEA to our formal petition."
The petition asks DEA to define industrial hemp as any part of a plant in the Cannabis genus that has no more than 1% THC, the definition adopted by the State of West Virginia. Petitioners also request an additional safety standard requiring industrial hemp to have a THC:CBD ratio of <1.
If a Cannabis plant has more CBD than THC—no matter the amount of THC—intoxication will not occur. According to scientists, industrial hemp users want a Cannabis plant for its oil and fiber, and the best strains have lots of CBD and very little THC.
Hawaii law currently defines industrial hemp as having <.3 percent THC which is even more restrictive. This session, the Hawaii State Legislature passed SB2659 establishing expanded industrial hemp projects throughout the State under the oversight and regulation of Hawaii's Department of Agriculture. The bill is still waiting Governor Ige's signature.