Hawaii regulators last week banned CBD gummies and beverages, and all smokeable hemp products. Under the new rules, hemp-derived cannabinoid products can only be in tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, powders, or tincture form, or for topical application to skin and hair.
The regulations also ban vape liquids containing hemp-derived cannabinoids.
“These rules are the next step toward regulating the growing hemp industry in Hawaii in a way that provides local hemp farmers a legal pathway to bring consumable hemp products to market while protecting consumers by requiring lab testing for contaminants and labeled cannabinoid content.”—Hawaii Department of Health Food and Drug Branch in an August 9 announcement
The state ended its pilot hemp program last year and migrated to a permanent U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved program last year. According to the Hemp Industry Daily Fact Book, the program had about 57 licensed cultivators as of October 2020. All applicants must seek approval directly from the USDA.
The new rules could make hemp production in Hawaii less desirable. In a 2020 interview with Hemp Grower, Ray Maki, owner of Permaculture Kaua’i Nursery and Farm, said that cultivators in the state had a “steep learning curve” and that “Hawaii is at a major disadvantage to other states in growing hemp at any kind of scale” due to “day length.”
Daylight hours in Hawaii range from a high of 13.5 hours around the summer solstice to 11 hours in mid-December, and the shorter daylight hours tend to trigger hemp plants’ flowering phase earlier than intended, and growers also face high humidity and high winds.
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