While Hawaii has long been known for its coffee and macadamia nut industries, the islands are now cultivating a reputation for hemp with the help of a former Bay Area resident.

Under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program started in June, the state can issue hemp growers licenses and provide seeds to farmers for a fiber and grain varietal of the plant.

Steve Sakala, who worked as a hemp activist in San Francisco and Oakland in the 2000s before becoming CEO and co-founder of Mana Artisan Botanics, is optimistic that approval for a hemp varietal with cannabidiol, or CBD — a non-intoxicating, therapeutic compound also found in marijuana — will come soon.

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Anh-Minh Le ~ San Francisco Chronicle