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CANNABIS IN HAWAII -EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
HAWAII Marijuana Laws
- Marijuana is a Schedule I substance in the state of Hawaii
- Federally, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance
- Possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana is punishable by a fine of 130 USD.
- Possession of 1 pound or more but less than two pounds is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a 10,000 USD fine.
- Distribution of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of jail time and a 2,000 USD fine.
- Cultivation of 25 or more but less than 50 marijuana plants is a felony punishable by up to five years of jail time and a 10,000 USD fine
- Use or possession of paraphernalia is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a 10,000 USD fine.
Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline
- 2000: Following the long federal prohibition and the war on drugs led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Hawaii passed Act 228, the Medical Use of Cannabis Act, making Hawaii the first state to legalize medical cannabis and to allow agricultural or academic research programs.
- 2013: House Bill 668 was passed to move the medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health and establish a Medical Marijuana Registry fund to help offset the cost of processing and issuing patient identification certificates. Lawmakers also passed act 178 to update language in the Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Registered medical cannabis patients became entitled to possess up to four ounces of usable cannabis and seven plants at any given time.
- 2015: The legislature passed two bills that further revised the medical cannabis program. House Bill 321 created regulations for eight statewide dispensaries to ensure safe and legal access to medical marijuana for those unable to cultivate their own.
- 2016: Act 230 updated medical cannabis laws in Hawaii. Legislatures empowered Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) with privileges to certify and prescribe to patients.
- 2017: Dispensaries opened to the public. Governor Ige signed House Bill 1488 into law, increasing the number of plants for qualified patients to ten. The bill added qualifying conditions for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and any other debilitating medical condition that the Physician recommends for medical marijuana.
- 2018: Act 116 revised the medical cannabis law. The act legalized vaporizers for retail in dispensaries, made reciprocity provisions for out-of-state patients, and debated the legalization of manufacturing and dispensing cannabis edibles.
- 2022: There is an initiative to combine the registry and dispensary programs to form the Office of Medical Cannabis Control and Regulation and to update the state’s existing decriminalization law. There are also over a thousand efforts tracked by the Marijuana Moment to legalize recreational marijuana laws for adults in Hawaii.
Possession Limits in HI
- Decriminalized statewide for small possession
- Medical patients can possess four ounces of processed marijuana; recreational possession is illegal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit These HAWAII Hotspots After Getting Your Medical Card
Oahu is an island in Hawaii in the central Pacific Ocean, known for its stunning natural beauty, world-class beaches, and rich cultural heritage. It is the third-largest island in Hawaii and home to the state capital, Honolulu. Oahu is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from around the world seeking adventure, relaxation, and a taste of Hawaiian culture. One of the most popular destinations on Oahu is Waikiki, a vibrant and bustling beachfront district in Honolulu. With its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and towering palm trees, Waikiki is a picturesque tropical paradise. Visitors can swim, surf, sunbathe, or stroll along the beachfront promenade, lined with high-end hotels, restaurants, and shops. In the evening, Waikiki comes alive with a bustling nightlife scene, with various bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a mesmerizing natural wonder located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, which have shaped the island’s landscape over millions of years. Visitors can witness the power of nature up close by hiking through lava fields, exploring volcanic craters, and watching the glow of lava flows at night. One of the most popular activities in the park is hiking, with trails ranging from easy nature walks to challenging backcountry treks. The Kilauea Iki Trail, for example, takes hikers through a rainforest and across a lava lake that erupted in 1959. Another must-see attraction is the Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year-old lava cave that visitors can explore with a flashlight. In addition to hiking, the park offers a variety of other activities, including ranger-led tours, cultural demonstrations, and stargazing. Visitors can also drive along the scenic Crater Rim Drive, which offers stunning views of the park’s volcanic features, such as the Kilauea Caldera and the steam vents of Sulphur Banks.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on Oahu island is a protected marine ecosystem home to an array of marine life, such as tropical fish, sea turtles, and coral reefs. Visitors can soak in the bay’s beauty by snorkeling, swimming, or lounging on the beach. The bay also features an education center that offers snorkeling lessons and rentals, as well as information on the bay’s history, ecology, and conservation efforts. Additionally, visitors can hike up to the nearby Koko Crater Trail for stunning views of the bay and the coastline or witness the powerful natural display at Halona Blowhole. For accommodation, nearby towns like Honolulu or Waikiki offer various options, including luxurious beachfront resorts and budget-friendly hostels, while vacation rentals such as apartments or condos near the bay provide alternatives.