Hawaii needs a more diverse economic base. If it wasn’t obvious before, it sure is now. Tourism is not going to save us. Sure, when the world was not in a pandemic, things were rolling around quite well with tourism being the big dog.
We need other industries. Coffee, beer, cacao, and astronomy bring in some money. But they are not big enough. We need something really big to fill in the wide gap that tourism has just created.
Some would say gambling. Same problem: COVID 19 will not spare gamblers. Besides, we all know that it is never just gambling you get with casinos. It is prostitution, drugs, organized crime, and lots more people who can not control their gambling, drinking, and smoking.
We need to reconsider industrial hemp. Yes, hemp. Hawaii could, and I suggest, should, grow organic industrial hemp. The fiber is of course very valuable in making clothing. It is better than cotton in my humble opinion. It takes less water and less pesticides (no pesticides even better). There are many products that are made from hemp. The oil is especially valuable and sells worldwide.
What I would very much like to see is someone manufacture CBD oil here on this island. As many of you already know, this oil is as close to a miracle cure as you are going to find. It is not a “Big Pharma” chemical drug with horrible side effects like so many are.
CBD oil relieves pain. But it does much more than that. There is not enough time or space here to tell all it does. Suffice it to say that it is a very valuable help to many people.
This island we live on could product the world’s best CBD and hemp oil. Why aren’t we doing so? Can you imagine how big this industry could become in a short period of time?
Hemp can transform our island into a prosperous community again whether tourism revives or not. It will be far better for humanity than sugar ever was.
Our people in authority should investigate this and stop being so naive about it being some kind of devil plant. It is a far better alternative than than tourism or beer or rum or cacao or gambling casinos. And we need to start thinking outside the tourism box right now. ‘Cause folks we are dying waiting for the return to “normal.” It ain’t coming back soon or maybe ever. Sorry. But true. It may not have a lot of office or indoor jobs like tourism, but it is dependable and makes the world a better pain free place.
Please, think about it.
Tom Beach is a resident of Waimea