A marijuana possession offense refers to the intentional carrying or holding of marijuana illegally. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Hawaii Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, it is illegal to use or carry marijuana for recreational purposes in the state. In 2019, Governor David Ige signed House Bill 1383, which decriminalized the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana in the state. Having 3 grams or less of marijuana in Hawaii is a violation punishable by a $130 fine. Carrying quantities of cannabis products over 3 grams in Hawaii can attract more severe punishments. For instance, Section 712.1249 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes stipulates that possession of over 3 grams but less than 1 ounce of cannabis is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one-month imprisonment.
Although marijuana possession is illegal in Hawaii, the Hawaii Uniform Controlled Substance Act allows registered medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers in the state to possess cannabis products for medical use. According to Section 329-121 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, medical marijuana patients can have up to ten cannabis plants and four ounces of cannabis products. A marijuana possession charge may change to possession with intent to distribute if there is substantial evidence indicating that an offender planned to transfer the cannabis products in their possession to others. Possession with intent to distribute marijuana is a severe offense punishable by several years of imprisonment and fines. Offenders risk facing stricter sentences if they are caught trying to distribute cannabis close to schools, on school buses, in public parks, or in public residential areas.
Yes. As stipulated in Chapter 329D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers in Hawaii must be 18 years or older before they can enter medical marijuana dispensaries. Dispensary personnel must verify the age of buyers through valid government-issued photo identification before dispensing cannabis products to them.
No. Medical marijuana patients registered under the Hawaii medical cannabis program must have valid registry identification cards (329 cards), which prove they are eligible for medical marijuana use under state law. Also, cannabis buyers must have valid means of identification, such as state IDs, state driver’s licenses, or passports, to enter dispensaries.
According to Section 712.1249.4 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, possession with intent to distribute 25 pounds or more of marijuana products is considered commercial promotion of marijuana in the first degree. The penalty for such an offense is a class-A felony punishment (up to 20 years imprisonment, $50,000 fine, or both). Per Section 712.1249.5 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, carrying 2 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds of marijuana products with intent to distribute is a commercial promotion of cannabis in the second degree. Such an offense is a class-B felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, a $25,000 fine, or both.
As stated in Section 712.1247 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, possessing with intent to distribute between 1 to 2 pounds of marijuana products is a class-C felony punishable by a five-year jail term, $10,000 fine, or both. Also, Section 712.1249.6 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes stipulates that the penalty for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute on a school bus or within 750 feet of a school, public park, or public housing complex is a class-C felony punishment. Offenders could face up to five years imprisonment, $10,000 fines, or both. A repeat offender guilty of distributing cannabis around a school, public park, or public residential complex could face a compulsory prison sentence of two to ten years.
Although Hawaii’s punishments for marijuana possession with intent to distribute are severe, the federal penalties for such crimes are harsher. Unlike Hawaii, which permitted medical marijuana use and decriminalized the possession of cannabis in small amounts, cannabis is illegal at the federal level, regardless of its use or quantity. As stipulated in Title 21 Section 841 of the US Code, possession with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms (approximately 110 pounds) of cannabis or 50 marijuana plants is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment federally. Also, an offender could pay up to $250,000 in fines, which is five times the maximum fine for a similar offense under Hawaii law.
Yes. The provisions of Chapter 329D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes allow registered medical marijuana dispensaries in the state to sell cannabis products to medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers. For patients to qualify for medical marijuana in Hawaii, they must be diagnosed with specific medical conditions and be registered with the state’s medical marijuana program. It is illegal to sell marijuana products for recreational use in Hawaii. Marijuana sale entails exchanging cannabis products for goods or services.
As stipulated in Section 329D.1 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, medical marijuana dispensary licenses permit holders to operate up to two production centers and manufacture cannabis products for sale to registered patients. Also, holders of medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Hawaii can cultivate cannabis plants themselves. Usually, businesses and individuals sell cannabis products to dispensaries because of the financial prospects of partaking in the legal cannabis industry. However, Hawaii law does not permit people to grow marijuana plants for sale. Only registered medical marijuana patients in the state can grow cannabis plants at home, but they cannot sell them to dispensaries.
Marijuana distribution creates an avenue for people to partake of marijuana’s economic benefits. It also helps ensure an efficient cannabis supply so that patients who need marijuana treatment can obtain their prescriptions. Hawaii does not issue marijuana distribution licenses. Businesses interested in participating legally in the state’s cannabis program must have medical marijuana dispensary licenses.