By Anthony Martinelli of The Joint Blog

A bill that would treat hemp like other crops such as tomatoes, allowing it to be grown by anyone without a license, has been approved by its initial committee in Hawaii.

The House Agricultural Committee approved House Bill 773 with a unanimous 7 to 0 vote. The measure makes it so that “No person shall be subject to any civil or criminal sanctions in this State for planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, selling, or buying industrial hemp”. Hemp would be defined as having no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in cannabis).

The proposal is now in the House Judiciary Committee, where passage would set it up for a vote in the full House. Passage by the full House would sent it to the Senate, where approval would put it to the desk of Governor David Ige for final consideration.

Click here for the full text of House Bill 773.

Last month Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki filed a bill that would fully legalize the recreational use of cannabis; this includes personal cultivation and licensed cannabis retail outlets.