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The Associated Press February 14, 2012, 12:57PM ET

Hawaii lawmakers eyeing specialty tea market

University of Hawaii researchers have found Hawaii-grown tea could become a specialty crop for the state.

That's why the state Senate is looking at ways to enter the multi-billion dollar specialty tea industry. The growing market is expected to double within five years, say the authors of Senate Bill 2957.

Hawaii has the opportunity to take advantage of this boom, proponents believe.

The bill sets regulations for marketing and advertising Hawaii teas, making it clear which are 100 percent Hawaii grown and which are blends that include local teas.

According to the bill, a blended tea can include up to 75 percent of tea from out of state, but must be labeled to make it clear that it is not entirely Hawaii-grown.

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