UPDATED 3/4/2019

Immediate 2018 Farm Bill Effects

A new hemp regulatory program based upon the 2018 Farm bill will likely be available for the 2020 growing season.

  • Q. Is hemp totally legal now and I can grow it like a tomato with no license or reports or anything?
    • A. No.  The 2018 Federal Farm Bill provided new regulatory guidelines for hemp regulation, but does not invalidate current state regulations: hemp is still a regulated crop, and all of the current Hawaii Statutes and Rules are still applicable for the growth of hemp.


  • Q: I have cannabis which tests at or below 0.3% THC, which I am growing under my medical marijuana card, or just growing with no license and no card.  Is this legal now that hemp is legal?
    • A: NO.  Hemp is legally defined as cannabis which meets the federal THC definition for hemp AND is being grown under a license from a state hemp program or institute of higher education.  This means any cannabis (and products derived from it), no matter how it tests, which is not grown under a state-licensed hemp program, is legally marijuana.


  • Q: Is HDOA supplying  seed? How much seed will be given to each licensee? Do you know what the cost is if there is a charge?

A. HDOA will work with licensees to facilitate the receipt of approved genetics at the licensees’ cost.  Amounts of seed granted, if requested from HDOA’s seed on hand, will be determined by availability and demand.

  • Q. How can I sell seed in your state?

A. Unless a licensed grower in HDOA’s program requests to use your seed, HDOA will not review or approve usage of your seed in HDOA’s program.  In addition, viable cannabis seed is still considered marijuana under state law, and state law is permitted by the 2018 Farm Bill to be more restrictive than Federal law.

  • Q. Can a licensed grower sell the seed to someone else?

A. A licensed grower in Hawaii’s program can produce and sell viable seed from approved genetics to another licensed grower in Hawaii’s program, provided that they comply with seed distribution/labelling laws, intellectual property rights, and any other applicable laws.

https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cm/ – Seed law information in 4th paragraph of the Chemical/Mechanical Control Section page.

Hawaii Seed Law is Chapter 150 HRS, Seed rules is Chapter 4-67 HAR

A link for the HDOA Seed License Application is included there. https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/seed-license-2pages-rvised-2017-fillable.pdf



  • Q. What will inspections look for? How will inspections be conducted? (Unannounced or scheduled?)

A. Routine sample collection and testing will take place sometime within 30 days before harvest.  Inspections may be announced or unannounced, and be performed to ensure compliance with rules, and confirm reports and adherence to stated research and best management plans.

  • Q. What kind of tests will be done? Will the tests be conducted in Hawaii or sent elsewhere?

A. Potency testing for THC and sometimes pesticides screening. Conducted by authorized labs here.  THC will be measured by combining THC and decarboxylated THCA.

  • Q. How is HDOA going to make sure that industrial hemp is not sold as real marijuana?

A. HDOA will carefully review applicant’s security plans to ensure that it is appropriate for the location and endeavor proposed.  Ultimately, it is the licensee’s responsibility to protect their crop, and report any theft to law enforcement.



  • Q. Will the Hawaii Department of Agriculture provide hemp processing facilities or buy hemp from growers?

A. No.

  • Q. Will I need a permit from HDOA if I want to process hemp?

A. No permit is necessary from HDOA, as HDOA regulates growth, not processing. Those who process hemp may, however, fall under the regulatory oversight of other state and/or federal agencies.

  • Q. Can the hemp products be sold outside of Hawaii?
  • Q. Can I make CBD?

A. HDOA regulates growth, not processing or manufactured products.  Other departments such as the Department of Health or Department of Public Safety may have applicable rules or regulation.