Jess Loiterton

Hawaii House Finance Committee Kills Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

Hawaii lawmakers in the House Finance Committee rejected the state’s Senate-approved adult-use cannabis legalization proposal, killing the bill for the year.

Full story after the jump.

The Hawaii House Finance Committee has killed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill, KHON2 reports. In a statement, committee Chairman Kyle Yamashita (D) cited “numerous concerns regarding the implementation of the bill” and “the prevailing ‘no’ votes from committee members expressed on the House floor.” 

“During an abnormally fiscally challenging year, the committee must prioritize addressing wildfire-related expenses after the Aug. 8 tragedy in Lahaina and Upcountry Maui. Ensuring the recovery of our communities continues to come at an extraordinary cost to the state budget, and the full cost of implementing the legalization of adult-use cannabis is unknown. As lawmakers, it would be remiss of us not to allocate funding to safeguard critical government services, including education, infrastructure, roads, and other essential services for Hawaiʻi’s residents and kūpuna, especially during a period of fiscal uncertainty.” — Yamashita, in a statement, via KHON2 

The measure had passed its second reading in the Senate, which Yamashita noted was the “furthest progression” of an adult-use cannabis bill in the state. 

Rep. David Tarnas (D), one of the main sponsors of the legislation, told KHON2 that the measure made it so far “because of the hard work of the Attorney General and the House of Representatives and the Senate working together with the Department of Health to find the best practices from other states.”  

Tarnas indicated plans to reintroduce the bill next session.

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