Multiple Cannabis Legalization Proposals Filed In Hawaii

Hawaii lawmakers are considering three different cannabis reform bills this legislative session, including two that would legalize adult-use cannabis and establish a regulatory authority.

Full story after the jump.

Hawaii lawmakers have multiple options for adult-use cannabis reforms before them following the introduction of three different cannabis bills so far this legislative session.

Introduced late last month, a pair of companion bills brought by House Rep. David Tarnas (D) and Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D) closely resemble a legalization proposal unveiled late last year by Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez, according to Marijuana Moment. Those proposals (HB2600 and SB3335) would legalize adult-use cannabis and establish the Hawaii Cannabis Authority, which would oversee sales and other regulatory considerations.

Some advocates, however, argue that the proposals could do more harm than good by introducing new cannabis possession penalties for minors.

“Generally speaking, the bill provides a sound floorplan for adult-use legalization but erects a structure that is still far too punitive in its approach. Placing a velvet glove of legalization on law enforcement’s iron hand is not what is called for.” — Nikos Leverenz, of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i and the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center, via Marijuana Moment

Lawmakers could also take up two other cannabis reform bills as outlined by Cannabis Business Report:

  • Senate Bill 2487, proposed by Sen. Joy San Buenaventura (D), seeks to decriminalize the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, reclassifying possession “offenses” as civil violations rather than criminal misdemeanors.
  • House Bill 2037, proposed by Minority Leader Rep. Gene Ward (R), would let voters weigh in on the idea of a constitutional amendment to legalize adult-use cannabis. If approved, the amendment would allow lawmakers to implement an adult-use system, the report said.

Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis — and the first to do so via the legislature — but lawmakers have refused to go further on the issue despite growing national momentum for significant cannabis reforms. The Hawaii Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing cannabis last year but that proposal ultimately died in the House.

A report published last year found that the state could generate more than $50 million in additional tax revenue each year by legalizing and regulating adult-use cannabis.

Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe

Have an additional perspective to share? Send us a message to let us know, and if your comment is chosen by our editors it could be featured here.


Ganjapreneur is made possible by our partners:

Latest Cannabis News

View all news Get email updates

Featured Business Profiles

Create a profile View all categories

From Our Partners