Hawaii Marijuana Laws 2024

  1. Hawaii Cannabis
  2. Hawaii Marijuana Laws

Key Points

  • Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii. However, adult-use marijuana is illegal.
  • Patients aged 18 and older can purchase medical marijuana. The public smoking of marijuana remains illegal.
  • Medical marijuana patients may possess up to four ounces of marijuana. It is a felony to possess more than one pound of marijuana.
  • Persons registered with the Hawaii medical marijuana program may grow up to 10 marijuana plants.
  • There are penalties, including fines and jail terms, for the unlawful possession, cultivation, distribution, and trafficking of marijuana.

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Is Marijuana Legal in Hawaii?

No. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Hawaii. However, the state has legalized medical marijuana. In 2019, HB1383 decriminalized the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana. The bill imposed a $130 fine for possession of such quantities of marijuana.

Per Act 288 SLH 2000, medical marijuana is legal for a qualified patient with a state-issued medical marijuana card, also known as the Hawaii 329 Card. A patient or a caregiver who possesses a Hawaii 329 card may purchase, grow, carry, transport, and consume marijuana for medicinal purposes. Hawaii runs a reciprocity program for out-of-state patients. Therefore, a frequent visitor may apply for a Hawaii 329 card, provided the visitor has a valid medical marijuana card from their home state. To qualify for a Hawaii 329 card, out-of-state patients (OSPs) must see a Hawaii-licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Per Hawaii's medical marijuana laws, a licensed medical marijuana patient can consume marijuana legally. The law permits a qualified patient to:

  • Carry up to 4 ounces of marijuana
  • Possess up to seven marijuana plants at any given time
  • Appoint a caregiver to purchase and administer marijuana on their behalf

While medical marijuana is considered legal in Hawaii, there are strict restrictions to places where it can be possessed or consumed. According to the medical marijuana laws, a qualified patient may not:

  • Consume medical marijuana in public
  • Carry or consume medical marijuana on federal property as marijuana is still a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Carry medical marijuana that is not in a sealed container

Hawaii Marijuana Laws in 2024

Since the legalization of medical marijuana, there have been several bills considered, changes, and amendments to the medical marijuana laws in Hawaii. Notable amongst these bills and changes in the last year are:

  • Act 169 - This Act created a task force to investigate developing a cannabis dual system legalization program. The task force will look into the issues and implications of marijuana legalization for qualified patients.
  • HCR 132 - Mark Nakashima sponsored and introduced HCR 132 on the 23rd of April 2021. It passes a resolution requesting that the Department of Health apply to the Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control for an exception under TITLE 21 Code of Federal Regulations section 1307.03. It also requested formal written notice that the federal Schedule I listing of marijuana, marijuana extract, and tetrahydrocannabinol does not apply to the protected activities in the Hawaii Medical marijuana laws.
  • HB 477 - Aaron Johanson and Ryan Yamane co-sponsored and introduced HB 477 on the 25th of January 2021. The bill seeks to ensure continuous access for eligible patients to marijuana by authorizing the Department of Health to enable licensed dispensaries to purchase up to 3,000 grams of medical cannabis or processed cannabis products from other registered dispensaries per dispensary license. The bill further increased the maximum number of manufacturing and retail dispensing locations. It places a limit to where a qualifying patient can receive medical cannabis or processed cannabis products. It also authorized the Department of Health to establish fee structures for application submissions for each additional production center and retail dispensing site, as well as dispensary-to-dispensary transactions. The bill also permits the inspection of registered cultivation sites by the Department of Health or law enforcement to ensure compliance with cannabis plant restrictions for cultivation by qualified patients. As long as federal law bars the movement of medicinal cannabis across a body of water, dispensary-to-dispensary sales are limited to those on the same island.
  • SB 1333 - Senate Bill 1333 is co-sponsored by Stanley Chang, Jarret Keohokaloe, Benneth Misalucha, and Joy San Buenaventura on the 25th of January 2021. The Bill seeks to update the state's Uniform Controlled Substances Act in line with the changes made to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. It also seeks to remove cannabidiol medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from the Schedule V substance list, as well as relevant articles of the Hawaii Penal Code. It is still undergoing consideration on the floor of the House.
  • SCR 250 - This bill was introduced on the 12th of March 2021. It requests that the state Governor seek immediate and permanent relief from The Drug Enforcement Administration for the states-authorized cannabis use.
  • HR 112 - This bill was introduced and sponsored by Mark Nakashima on the 12th of March 2021. It requests that the Department of Health submits a request to the Drug Enforcement Administration for an exception to regulations and a petition to initiate proceedings for federal rulemaking to clarify that the state-authorized use of medical cannabis does not violate the federal controlled substances act.
  • SCR 221 - The bill introduced in March 2022 requests that the bureau conduct a study on access to medical marijuana and its current prices compared to the volume of illegal cannabis sales in Hawaii. The bill attributes the volume of illicit cannabis sales to the lack of access to licensed dispensaries and the high cost of medical marijuana from these dispensaries.
  • SB 2455 and HB 1907 - Introduced in January 2022, the bill relates to the responsible adult use of cannabis by providing for the legislation, regulation, and taxation of recreational marijuana. Also, the bill aims to exempt general excise tax on the manufacture and sale of marijuana products for medical use. Lastly, the bill introduces the same privileges for out-of-state patients as qualifying patients resident in Hawaii. This legislation is pending to legalize recreational marijuana.
  • HB 421 - The bill requires citizens' participation in the 2022 ballot on legalizing marijuana. This act requires a question on the polls asking Hawaiians if they wish the state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Hawaii. Legalization is pending with the bill currently at the Health, Human Services and Homelessness (HHH), Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC), and Finance (FIN).
  • HB 1202 and SB 1367 - Both bills pending are related to responsible adult use of cannabis. Both bills amend the existing law and allow adult and qualifying out-of-state patients to possess small quantities of cannabis as well as cultivate cannabis for personal use. It stipulates the board and department powers for grants and loans to socially equity applicants in gaining entry and operating in the Hawaii cannabis marketplace. The bill proposes re-sentencing marijuana possession offenders and the expungement of such arrest records and convictions.
  • HB 238 -The bill proposes that possession, displaying, transporting, or purchasing of one ounce of cannabis be lawful. It also stipulates that medical marijuana dispensaries can dispense recreational marijuana to persons over 21 after applying for the appropriate license. It amends part of the penal code for offenses relating to marijuana. Lastly, the bill supports the allocation of an unspecified percentage from the proceeds of the excise tax revenues derived from the sale of recreational cannabis to the counties. The bill passed the first reading and is currently pending at the HHH, FIN, and CPC.
  • SB 704, SB767, and HB 7 - All three bills pending propose the further decriminalization and regulation of small quantities of marijuana for personal use. It proposes regulations for the sale, use, and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The bill also introduces excise tax for recreational cannabis sales and state taxes for recreational cannabis income. Lastly, the bill promotes compulsory licensing for all adult-use cannabis establishments.
  • Chapter 11-850 - Effective April 24th, 2022, this chapter contains the amendment and compilation of interim rules for medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaii. The provisional law relates to the licensing, fees, operations, security, manufacturing practice, product standards, quality control, packaging, labeling, and license revocation for medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaii.
  • HB 2264 - The house bill introduced in January 2022 allows for county-based legalization of adult-use marijuana. The bill, if enacted, would permit counties within the state to adopt the legalization of recreational cannabis, including the possession, sale, use, and transfer for persons 18 and older. The bill stipulates a three-ounce possession limit per adult and imposes an excise tax on recreational cannabis sold within the county. The bill is pending on the floor of the house.
  • HB 2260 - The bill introduced to the house on May 3rd, 2022, by Rep Ryan Yamane aims to update Hawaii's medical cannabis program. It allows the inter-island transportation of cannabis between dispensaries and up to one gram for testing centers. It also extends caregivers' cannabis cultivation limits and allows dispensaries to purchase up to 800 ounces of a cannabis product from other dispensaries. The bill became effective on July 1st, 2022.
  • SB 669 - Introduced in February 2023, this Senate Bill proposes the legalization of recreational marijuana possession as well as making it legal to grow and sell adult-use marijuana. If signed into law, the bill will create the Hawaii Cannabis Authority. It passed the senate by a vote of 22-3 in March and is currently before Hawaii’s House of Representatives

Timeline of Сannabis Law in Hawaii

Hawaii’s cannabis laws have evolved. The main changes are as follows:

  • 2000: Act 228 permits the purchase and possession of marijuana for medical purposes. The Act eliminates the penalty for the use of marijuana in persons with qualifying medical conditions.
  • 2013: Act 178 modifies Hawaii’s medical marijuana program, enacted in 2000. It puts the usable amount of marijuana at four ounces and cultivated marijuana plants at seven.
  • 2015: Governor Ige signed two marijuana bills into law. The first, Act 241, establishes a statewide medical marijuana dispensary to ensure qualifying patients in Hawaii have legal access to marijuana. The second, Act 242, protects against discrimination against patients in the medical marijuana program.
  • 2016: Act 230 brought a statewide licensing scheme for medical marijuana dispensaries, ensuring qualifying patients have access to medical marijuana.
  • 2017: The governor signed Act 041 into law to address the gaps in the regulatory framework for medical marijuana users and marijuana dispensaries. Specifically, it adds three medical conditions, qualifying them for medical marijuana use. It increases the amount of marijuana plants patients and caregivers may jointly possess. Act 170 replaces the term medical marijuana with medical cannabis.
  • 2018: Act 116 amends Hawaii's existing medical marijuana law to include registering and granting out-of-state patients access to the state's medical marijuana program. It also extends a patient's written certification validity by three years for patients with debilitating medical conditions.
  • 2020: Hawaii decriminalizes simple possession of marijuana. Based on Act 273, there is no jail time for possessing up to three grams of weed. However, the fines remain. The Act also provides for expunging criminal records for possessing up to three grams of marijuana.
  • 2021: Act 169 came into law. It establishes a task force to explore legalizing recreational cannabis. It also commissions the task force to study the effect of recreational marijuana and the ease of patients' access to medical marijuana.
  • 2022: House Bill 2260, approved by the Senate, updates Hawaii’s medical cannabis program. It permits inter-island transportation of cannabis between dispensaries, increases the number of plants for cannabis production centers, and extends the deadline allowing caregivers to cultivate marijuana for an unlimited number of patients till December 31, 2024.

Federal Legalization of Weed in 2024

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, introduced and passed in the House in 2022, seeks to decriminalize marijuana. The bill advocates removing marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. In addition, the bill supports eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana distribution, manufacturing, and possession violations. Other changes highlighted in the Bill include:

  • Replacing all references to marijuana with cannabis
  • Supporting services and programs through a trust fund for businesses, communities, and individuals negatively affected by the war on drugs.
  • The bill imposes an occupational tax on cannabis export warehouses and production facilities and an excise tax on cannabis imported into the United States.
  • It recommends granting persons with cannabis-related convictions access to federal public benefits and protection under immigration laws.
  • The bill advocates studying the societal repercussions of recreational marijuana in the workplace.in states where adult use is legal.
  • It instructs the Bureau of Labor Statistics to publish the data on the demographics of cannabis business owners and employees.
  • The Act supports expunging convictions related to federal cannabis offenses.
  • It recommends that the Department of Education examine the effect of recreational cannabis in schools and school-aged children.
  • It mandates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to devise new means of determining a motorist marijuana impairment.

Can I Use Cannabis?

It depends. Per the Medical Use Marijuana Law, a patient with a physician's recommendation and a valid Hawaii 329 card may use marijuana to treat a qualifying medical condition. The medical marijuana laws in the state permit patients with medical marijuana cards to use marijuana medically. However, a minor would require parental or guardian consent to use marijuana to treat a qualifying medical condition.

Marijuana consists of a mixture of the dried flowers and leaves of Cannabis Sativa. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), among other chemical ingredients with various medical applications. Medically, marijuana is consumed orally as pills, capsules, tea, brownies, cookies, or candies. However, due to the psychoactive properties of marijuana, it is classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I drug.

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Hawaii dates back to the 1800s. During this time, marijuana use was largely unregulated and widespread. However, the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy and the incorporation of Hawaii into the United States preceded steps toward marijuana regulation in the state. Marijuana regulation began with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. This Act, coupled with the 1910 Mexican Revolution, led to an influx of Mexicans and their marijuana-smoking culture to the United States. This caused increased public opposition to marijuana use. In 1937, the United States Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in response to the growing abuse of marijuana. Soon after, 23 states passed laws making marijuana possession illegal. In 1942, marijuana was removed from the United States Pharmacopeia. The drug was eventually classified as a controlled substance under the Federal Narcotics Control Act of 1956, making its possession illegal in the United States.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a panel to investigate marijuana regulations. The panel recommended decriminalizing marijuana, which led several states to liberalize their marijuana laws. In the year 2000, Hawaii's Legislature passed Act 228, legalizing medical marijuana. Over the years, several bills have been considered in Hawaii's Legislature to legalize recreational marijuana. However, recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state.

How The Legal Sale Of Cannabis In Hawaii Happens

Only licensed marijuana dispensaries are permitted to sell marijuana in Hawaii. The activities and licensing of these dispensaries are regulated and managed by the Hawaii Department of Health. Per Hawaii's medical marijuana laws, both in-state and out-of-state patients and caregivers may purchase medical marijuana, provided they have a valid Hawaii 329 card. An out-of-state patient who possesses a valid medical marijuana card from their home state and a government-issued ID card may apply for a Hawaii 329 card. A successful applicant will be issued a temporary Hawaii 329 card. This card will remain active for no more than 60 days. In addition, out-of-state residents who visit more than twice a year may apply for an in-state Hawaii 329 card to enable them to purchase medical marijuana each time they visit.

The state only permits the sale of medical marijuana to qualifying patients and caregivers 18 years and older. Licensed marijuana dispensaries may sell various forms of marijuana products including, flowers, vapes, concentrates, ingestible, tinctures, and marijuana paraphernalia. However, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary may only sell a combined total of 4 ounces of marijuana per 15 consecutive day periods or 8 ounces of marijuana per 30 consecutive day periods to qualifying patients and caregivers.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Hawaii

Per the Hawaii Uniform Drug Control Act, the state only permits marijuana for medicinal purposes. According to Hawaii medical marijuana laws, qualifying patients can use and possess limited quantities of marijuana to treat certain debilitating medical conditions. Possession of more than the specified amount of medical marijuana is considered a crime. On the other hand, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Hawaii. Although the state recently decriminalized the possession of 3 grams or less of recreational marijuana, possession of any amount beyond what is legally permitted is an offense. Per HB1383, these infractions are considered misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the amount of marijuana involved.

In line with Hawaii marijuana possession laws the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a $130 fine. Similarly, possessing more than 3 grams but less than 1 ounce of marijuana is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Any individual caught with between 1 ounce and 1 pound of marijuana in Hawaii is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by one year in prison and a $2,000 fine. Marijuana possession above 1 pound is considered a Class C felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $10,000. If marijuana is found in a vehicle, each occupant is guilty of possession unless caught with a specific occupant or in a compartment accessible only to occupants of that seat.

In Hawaii, only registered marijuana dispensaries are permitted to distribute marijuana. Individuals caught with more than 1 pound of marijuana may face charges of possession with intent to distribute it. The punishment for this offense varies based on the quantity of marijuana found with the individual. Individuals caught carrying more than 1 pound but less than 2 pounds of marijuana risk up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the quantity of marijuana is more than 2 pounds but less than 25 pounds, the individual is guilty of a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. A person caught with more than 25 pounds of marijuana is guilty of a class A felony. Such a person faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The intentional trafficking of marijuana is an offense with legal consequences. Some Hawaii marijuana trafficking laws include:

  • Trafficking one ounce or more of marijuana is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment and fines not exceeding $10,000.
  • It becomes a first-degree offense if the offender uses a minor to carry out the trafficking offense. The penalty for using an underage is up to ten years of incarceration and fines of up to $25,000.

It is unlawful to distribute cannabis of any amount in Hawaii. Hawaii marijuana distribution laws specify that the distribution of one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a penalty of one-year incarceration and fines of up to $2,000. Distributing between one ounce and one pound is a class C felony punishable by up to five years of jail time and fines not exceeding $10,000. Persons who distribute between one to five pounds of marijuana commit a felony with up to ten years jail term and maximum fines of $25,000. Distributing over five pounds of marijuana in Hawaii has a penalty of up to 20 years of incarceration and fines of up to $50,000.

According to Hawaii law, marijuana concentrates are classified as Schedule I substances. Hashish, tetrahydrocannabinol, and any other salt, alkaloid, compound, mixture, or derivative of marijuana are considered marijuana concentrates under Hawaiian law. The state does not recognize a minimum THC level for a substance to be a concentrate. Therefore, the state has strict penalties for possessing or promoting a harmful drug. Per Hawaii Law, a defendant may be charged for promoting a harmful drug in the first degree if:

  • They have 1 ounce or more of marijuana concentrates
  • Distributing of ⅛ ounce or more or marijuana concentrate
  • Distributing any amount of marijuana concentrate to a minor

The defendant will be charged with a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years jail sentence and a fine of not more than $50,000. A defendant may also be charged for promoting a harmful drug in the second degree if caught carrying ⅛ ounce or more of concentrates or distributing any amount of marijuana concentrate. Defendants may be charged with a Class B felony and may face up to 10 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $25,000. A defendant is guilty of promoting a drug in the fourth degree if caught with any quantity of marijuana. Such an individual is guilty of a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

In Hawaii, illegal marijuana paraphernalia use, sale, or possession is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The delivery of marijuana paraphernalia to a minor by a person 18 years of age or older is a class B felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Anyone without a Hawaii 329 patient card caught sharing marijuana with other persons violates Hawaii law and may be held for possession charges or possession with intent to distribute.

Hawaii marijuana cultivation law permits only registered patients, caregivers with a Hawaii 329 card, and registered marijuana dispensaries to cultivate ten plants of marijuana at any stage for medical use up till 31st December 2023. However, starting 1st January 2024, caregivers cannot grow marijuana except if growing for a person under 18 or an adult without legal capacity. Also, effective 1st January 2024, patients can cultivate up to 10 growing plants. However, it is illegal for more than five qualifying patients to cultivate marijuana at one growing site.

Individuals other than registered medical patients caught cultivating marijuana may be charged with various offenses. Growing between 25 to 50 marijuana plants without a medical card is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Also, cultivating between 50 to 100 plants is a class B felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Growing more than 100 marijuana plants in Hawaii is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. These punishments are more stringent if the cultivation is done illegally on another person's property. Growing less than 25 marijuana plants on another person's property without permission is a class B felony punishable by ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Growing 25 or more plants on such properties without the owners' permission is a class A felony attracting 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Growing marijuana in a structure where a minor under the age of 16 is present is an offense. Individuals guilty of this offense will have two additional years added to the initial sentence of illegal cultivation. However, if the cultivation was done in a structure where an individual under 18 is present, and the cultivation caused significant bodily harm to the minor, the offender may get an additional five years to their jail sentence.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Hawaii. An individual found violating this may be charged with a DUI. DUI penalties in Hawaii include license suspension, fines, jail time, community service, and compulsory attendance of substance abuse programs.

  • First Offense: The penalty is 48 hours to five days of incarceration with fines between $150 - $1,000. The courts may mandate 72 hours of community service in place of jail time. The courts authorize the compulsory attendance of a substance abuse program and a license suspension of up to one year.
  • Second Offense: A second-time offender gets a penalty of five to thirty days jail sentence with fines not exceeding $1,500 but above $500. The courts may substitute prison time with 240 hours of community service. In addition, the courts withhold the offender's license for 18 months to two years and mandate attendance of at least a 14-hour substance abuse treatment program.
  • Third Offense: The court suspends the offender's license for up to two years and the individual risks forfeiting the motor vehicle to the state. In addition, the offender gets a jail sentence of 10 -30 days and fines between $500 and $2,500.
  • Subsequent Offense: The individual commits a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, probation of up to five years, license revocation of not less than one year, compulsory attendance of a driver education program, and mandatory substance abuse counseling.

Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii. However, consumption on the premises of federal property or places outside the patient's private residence is illegal. It is unlawful to smoke or vape medical marijuana on premises that are not designated smoke-free locations.

Hawaii’s law permits the arresting officers to confiscate an asset on the grounds that the offender used it for the commercial promotion of marijuana. Also, assets used in the illegal sale, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana are subject to forfeiture. Law enforcement officers may confiscate assets such as cash, jewelry, houses, and cars on conviction of a criminal misdemeanor or felony marijuana offense.

Persons who violate Hawaii marijuana laws can have their charges dropped with a competent defense attorney. Possible outcomes for working with a marijuana defense attorney include:

  • Reduced jail time or none at all.
  • Reduced fines or no fines at all.
  • Probation in place of jail time
  • Dropping the drug possession charges
  • Community service
  • Attending a drug treatment or educational program

Possible remedies for a defendant for violating Hawaii marijuana laws include:

  • The arresting officer violated the individual rights during the arrest by failing to read the offender their Miranda rights.
  • Law enforcement officers wrongfully searched the defendant without permission to do so.
  • The defendant is a registered patient in Hawaii’s medical marijuana program. Therefore, they had the legal right to possess up to four ounces of marijuana without legal penalties.
  • Law enforcement forces the defendant to speak to the police without legal counsel and without informing the accused of the implication of their actions.
  • The arresting officer denies the accused access to their attorney and still interrogates the suspect.
  • The defendant did not have ownership of the marijuana at the time of the arrest.
  • Law enforcement officers conducted an illegal search without a valid warrant. Marijuana seized under an illegal search is inadmissible in court.
  • Law enforcement did not weigh the seized marijuana accurately, and the correct amount calls for a reduced sentence or only fines.

Additional Hawaii marijuana limitations include:

  • Possession with intent to distribute marijuana within 750 feet of a park or school, irrespective of the amount of marijuana, is a felony. The penalty is a five-year jail term and fines of up to $1,000.
  • It is unlawful to use a minor to facilitate the distribution of marijuana. The offense attracts ten years of imprisonment and fines of up to $25,000. However, if the unlawful act was within a school, school bus, or public park, the penalty becomes a 20-year jail term and fines up to $50,000.
  • The court revokes the license for a commercial driver if convicted for the illegal possession and transportation of marijuana while on duty.
  • Law enforcement officers may charge all occupants of a vehicle with possession charges for the discovery of marijuana inside the vehicle.
  • It is unlawful to consume or smoke medical marijuana in public places.
  • All cannabis products in Hawaii require testing for active ingredients, pesticides, solvents, toxins, and heavy metals.

What is Hawaii's Cannabis History?

Marijuana use was highly unrestricted and widespread during this period. The fall of the Hawaiian monarchy and the integration of Hawaii into the United States, on the other hand, came before any attempts to regulate marijuana. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 set the stage for this. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 caused an influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States, along with their marijuana-smoking habit. As a result, there was an upsurge in drug misuse and popular resistance to marijuana use. In reaction to the growing usage of marijuana, the United States Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. Soon after, 23 states banned marijuana. Marijuana was removed from the United States Pharmacopeia in 1942 as a result of this.

In 1956, the Federal Narcotics Control Act designated marijuana as a prohibited narcotic, making its possession illegal in the United States. In 1972, President Richard Nixon formed a group to look into marijuana restrictions. The group recommended the decriminalization of marijuana as a result of its findings. Consequently, marijuana laws became liberalized in various states. In the State of Hawaii, recreational marijuana is illegal. However, the state legislature has decriminalized possession of fewer than 3 grams of marijuana. Several initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana are currently being discussed on the floor of the state senate.

What are Restrictions on Cannabis in Hawaii?

There are several restrictions on marijuana use in Hawaii. These include:

  • Only qualifying patients with a valid Hawaii 329 card may purchase marijuana
  • The state prohibits public consumption of marijuana
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana is considered illegal
  • Possession of more than a combined total of 4 ounces of marijuana by both patients and caregivers is illegal
  • The recreational use of marijuana is illegal
  • The consumption of marijuana on federal lands and properties is also prohibited
In this section:
Hawaii Marijuana Laws