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October 2, 2003

Funding runs out for Hawaiian hemp

HONOLULU (AP) -- The dream for industrial hemp to become a major Hawaiian crop evaporated Tuesday as federal drug agents supervised the shutdown of Hawaii's 4-year-old hemp research project.

Briane Grey, assistant special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Hawaii, said researcher David West notified the agency last week that he was ending the project near Wahiawa.

On Tuesday, West surrendered his DEA research permit, helped agents make sure there were no living plants left and watched them destroy 6 pounds of seeds, Grey said.

State Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-Kaneohe-Kailua, a leading advocate for hemp production, said the research project was ended because it ran out of money.

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