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Hawaii Senate Passes Cannabis Legalization Bill

Lawmakers in the Hawaii Senate voted decisively to legalize adult-use cannabis on Tuesday but the proposal faces an uncertain future in the House, which rejected a legalization proposal last year.

Full story after the jump.

The Hawaii Senate voted 19-6 on Tuesday to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, sending the proposal next to the House for consideration. The vote, first reported by Marijuana Moment, marks the second time in as many years that Hawaii senators have voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

SB 3335 seeks to legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate products for adults aged 21; the legalization policy would take effect starting January 1, 2026. Additionally, the proposal would establish a regulated adult-use marketplace with a 14% excise tax rate on recreational products and a 4% tax rate on the medical cannabis market. Cannabis home grows would be allowed with a maximum of six plants, and up to 10 ounces of home-grown flower.

The bill closely resembles legislation brought last year by Attorney General Anne Lopez (D).

Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i and the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center praised lawmakers’ engagement with the issue despite objecting to the proposal’s focus on law enforcement issues.

“Although this is an imperfect bill that still contains far too many elements of criminalization, it’s welcome news to have a viable adult-use legalization bill that can be improved upon when it reaches the House.” — Leverenz, via Marijuana Moment

Last year’s cannabis legalization bill that passed the Senate ultimately failed in the House of Representatives, and SB 3335 could face a similar future.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) has signaled that he would be open to signing a legalization proposal if lawmakers delivered one to his desk, calling cannabis reforms a “big social issue” in the state, the report said.

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