Picture of Hemp fields with text "Industrial Hemp Pilot Program"


UPDATED 08/31/2020


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:

  • 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;
  • Hemp growth can only occur in the state agricultural district;
  • Hemp shall not be grown 500 feet of pre-existing real property comprising a playground, childcare facility, or school;
  •  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;
  • 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 Department of Agriculture does not regulate CBD or CBD products. For information regarding CBD in Hawaii, please see: https://health.hawaii.gov/food-drug/cbd-information/



  • How do I get a permit to process hemp?
  1. The Department of Agriculture does not regulate processing or manufactured products. Questions regarding processing should be directed towards the State Department of Health.
  • Can the hemp products be sold outside of Hawaii?
  1. The Department of Agriculture does not regulate processing or manufactured products.  Other departments such as the Department of Health or Department of Public Safety may have applicable rules or regulation.

Hemp in Animal Feed
See: Association of American Feed Control Officials Guidelines: https://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/SiteContent/Announcements/Guidelines_on_Hemp_in_Animal_Food_May_1_2019.pdf