- Associated Press - Monday, April 28, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie plans to sign a bill to establish an industrial hemp research program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Officials in the governor’s office said Monday that Abercrombie planned a signing ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.

The bill approves a two-year program to study industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen said in a statement that the law’s passing could lead to Hawaii becoming a national and global player in the market for an environmentally-friendly crop. She estimates the U.S. industrial hemp market at $500 million per year.

Hawaii would be the 23rd state to pass industrial hemp legislation once Abercrombie signs the law.