Cannabis, an extremely versatile plant is going through a renaissance in the 21st century.
With the help of community leaders, proactive legislators, and helpful government officials, support for those who want to produce and use this crop for medicinal and industrial uses is growing. Mahalo nui to all those who have taken their time to look at this issue in a deliberate manner, and provide substantive support to make the commercial production of cannabis a reality. Mahalo to the Hawaii Legislature and the Hawaii Department of Health for doing what they can to legalize and make safely available an important medicine.
As Hawaii continues with its process of figuring out how to cultivate and regulate this herb commercially, we should take a look at some positive aspects of this crop, as well as a bit of legal background on where we are and how we got here.Economic Benefits
According to Wikipedia (and we believe everything they post, right?) globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis were produced legally. In 2013 between 128 and 232 million people are thought to have used cannabis as a recreational drug (2.7 percent to 4.9 percent of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65).
The Economist magazine estimates the global cannabis black market value at $50 billion. U.S. consumption of various legal and imported hemp products in 2013 increased 24 percent to $581 million. Low THC hemp grown for medicinal purposes is valued at $1,000pound.
Clearly, there is a lot of money to be made with this crop. There is abundant unused land and water for agriculture here. Hawaii can and should position itself to reap considerable profits exporting cannabis products and marketing them locally.…
Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Simon Russell is an agricultural consultant/organic farmer living on Maui with his wife and 2 children. Simon is the State Vice President for the Hawaii Farmers Union United. Simon likes to formulate and implement policy that will help people make a living in industries that take Hawaii towards resilient self sufficiency and agricultural sustainability. As a point of disclosure, Simon is currently an unpaid partner with Medical Medicinals LLC, which will submit an application for a Medical Marijuana dispensary license next month.
News In Brief
Happy Memorial Day!
We are taking the day off, too. But we’ll be back tomorrow with a full report. Have a great holiday!
Libertarian Presidential Ticket Picked
Former governors Gary Johnson and William Weld offer an alternative to Republicans and Democrats.
WHO: Olympics Should Go On
The World Health Organization on Saturday rejected a call from 150 health experts to consider postponing or moving the Rio Summer Olympics due to the Zika virus in Brazil.
Despite party elite’s support of Hillary Clinton, Hawaii Democrats elected a party chair who supports Bernie Sanders.