Hemp Production

Hemp Cultivation in Hawaii


Act 014 was signed into law on August 27, 2020, legalizing the growth of hemp in Hawaii through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Domestic Hemp Production Program.  Beginning on November 1, 2020, individuals and entities who wish to grow hemp in Hawaii must acquire a hemp production license from the USDA and comply with the following state requirements:

  1. Any person convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance under state or federal law is prohibited from producing hemp, or being a key participant in an entity producing hemp, for a period of ten years following the date of conviction;
  2. Hemp growth can only occur in the state agricultural district;
  3. Hemp shall not be grown 500 feet of pre-existing real property comprising a playground, childcare facility, or school;
  4.  Hemp shall not be grown within 500 feet of any pre-existing house, dwelling unit, residential apartment, or other residential structure that is not owned or controlled by the license holder;
  5. Hemp shall not be grown in any house, dwelling unit, residential apartment, or other residential structure.


Applications for USDA hemp production licenses may now be submitted directly to the USDA, however USDA hemp licenses will not be effective in Hawaii until November 1, 2020.  The application may be viewed here: USDA Hemp Application (PDF).  When applying for a USDA hemp production license, the applicant must provide a copy of an FBI criminal history report.  Instructions on how to obtain the report from the FBI may be viewed here: FBI Criminal History Report.  An applicant will not receive a USDA hemp production license if the applicant has been convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance in the last 10 years.  Once issued, USDA hemp production licenses are active for three years unless the State of Hawaii elects to administer a State hemp production program or ban hemp production in the State.

Due to remote work conditions in Washington, D.C., the USDA strongly encourages all applications be sent electronically to [email protected] for expedited processing.

Alternatively, completed applications can be mailed with a copy of the FBI criminal history report to USDA/AMS/Specialty Crops Program, Hemp Branch, 470 L’Enfant Plaza S.W., Post Office Box 23192, Washington D.C. 20026.

All requirements and information related to the USDA hemp program may be viewed at https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp.  If you have questions, please email [email protected] or call 202-720-2491.



The Hawaii Industrial Hemp Pilot Program will be repealed on October 31, 2020.  Pilot Program licensees who wish to continue to grow hemp after the expiration of that date must acquire a license to produce hemp from USDA under the United States Domestic Hemp Production Program.

The USDA may take up to 60 days to process an application, so Pilot Program licensees are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to allow sufficient time for obtaining a USDA license by November 1, 2020.

If a Pilot Program licensee elects to obtain a USDA hemp production license and continue growing hemp, any approved grow area under a Pilot Program license issued by August 27, 2020 may continue to be used and is not subject to the buffer zone requirements of Act 014 SLH 2020.  Any grow area under a Pilot Program license issued after August 27, 2020, will be subject to the buffer zone requirements.

Picture of hemp field with large text "Industrial Hemp Pilot Program"

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Program Contact: [email protected]