In celebration of Earth Day, Pacific Biodiesel conducted a blessing today at the site of Maui's first state-licensed industrial hemp farm.
The 10-acre site is located off of the Honoapiilani Highway in Central Maui near Waikapu and is part of the larger 115 acre Biofuel Crop farm that also features sunflowers, safflower and other cover crops.
The farming operation will initially produce full-spectrum industrial hemp extract, including CBD, which is growing in popularity in the beauty and cosmetic industry.
"We're making cosmetic oils and culinary oils, and those will help to make the price of the fuel economical," said President and Founder of Pacific Biodiesel Bob King
It will also be used as a featured ingredient in the company's own Kuleana natural skincare brand. Company founders say it took three years to obtain permits, and that there are still many restrictions in place on the crop.
"I think it's something that's going to be relaxed over time. I think the state is very confused about the difference between hemp and marijuana still. I don't know how long it's going to take to get them to understand that this is going to be part of our farming future," said Co-founder of Pacific Biodiesel Kelly King.
The operation is being touted as the first industrial hemp farm in the United States powered 100% by biodiesel.
With the expanded farming operation, company founders say they are inspired to continue uncovering new ways to further their commitment to agricultural diversity and renewable energy.