Maui News

Legislature passes bill supporting value-added production across Hawaiʻi

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File image of House floor. PC: Hawaiʻi House Democrats.

In a landmark move aimed at bolstering economic resilience and promoting local industries, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature has successfully passed HB2144 HD1 SD2 CD1, a bill focused on expanding value-added production throughout the Aloha State.  The bill now goes to Gov. Josh Green to sign into law.

Supporters of the bill say its passage underscores the Hawaiʻi Legislature’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and diverse economy that benefits all residents of the state and marks a significant milestone in Hawaiʻi’s efforts to diversify its economy, improve access to locally sourced foods and support local entrepreneurs.  By prioritizing value-added production, bill backers say the state aims to capitalize on its unique resources and expertise, fostering innovation and sustainability in key sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing.

HB2144 requires the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health to amend the definition of “homemade food products” in its Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, and to adopt certain rules regarding the sale and delivery of homemade food products, which pragmatically expands opportunities for cottage food producers and consumers without compromising food safety. By broadening the types of shelf-stable food that can be sold and where producers can sell them, the bill ensures that local entrepreneurs have the chance to thrive while maintaining high standards of food safety. 


Rep. Kirstin Kahaloa (D-6 Hōnaunau, Nāpō‘opo‘o, Captain Cook, Kealakekua, Keauhou, Hōlualoa, Kailua-Kona), the introducer of HB2144, expressed her enthusiasm for the positive impact it will have on Hawaiʻi’s economy and communities.

“Today’s passage of HB2144 is a triumph for Hawaiʻi’s economic diversification and local entrepreneurship,” said Kahaloa. “As a representative from the vibrant community of Kona, I’ve witnessed firsthand the ingenuity and dedication of our local producers. This bill is a testament to their hard work and vision. By expanding opportunities for value-added production and cottage food businesses, HB2144 will not only showcase the richness of our island’s resources but also create avenues for economic growth and resilience. I commend my colleagues for their support of this vital legislation, which will undoubtedly benefit Hawaiʻi for generations to come.”

“I am immensely proud of the passage of HB2144, especially considering its humble origins from local producers in South Kona,” said Senate Majority Leader Dru Mamo Kanuha (D-3 Kona, Kaʻū, Volcano), who introduced the companion measure in the Senate.  “This legislation represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to empower local entrepreneurs and bolster Hawai’i’s economy. By supporting value-added production and cottage food businesses, we are not only harnessing the abundant resources of our islands but also providing much-needed opportunities for our communities to thrive. I am confident that HB2144 will pave the way for a brighter future for Hawaiʻi and its residents.”


Following Wednesday’s votes, HB2144 was transmitted to Gov. Josh Green for final consideration.  The governor has until July 10, 2024, to act on the measure.


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