Hawaii destroys hemp growers’ crops due to high THC levels


HONOLULU (AP) — More than half of hemp crops cultivated in Hawaii in the past year were unusable due to high THC levels, officials said.

The crops cultivated for the state’s hemp industry tested above the federal limit for the chemical that causes people to become high, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Eighteen crops were destroyed because of heightened tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The state Department of Agriculture granted waivers to four crops that tested slightly above the limit, allowing the plants to be used as hemp.

A cannabis plant containing 0.3% or less THC is legally classified as hemp rather than marijuana. A plant needs about 1% THC or more to produce marijuana’s mind-altering effects.

The large number of plants testing above the limit is part of a difficult research process for the nascent industry, said Shelley Choy, agriculture department hemp program coordinator.