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Looking to take a vacation to the paradise that is Hawaii or are you already a resident and want to know if your extracurriculars are safe? Hawaii is known for being a pretty relaxed state and life there is meant to be enjoyed.
However, do they react differently to the possession and consumption of weed?
In this article, we discuss if weed is legal in Hawaii.
While it is legal to use since 2016, it does come with conditions. We explain everything you need to know in order to relax and enjoy yourself while abiding by the law.
Is Weed Legal In Hawaii?
In short, yes. But there are quite a few restrictions that come along with it.
Hawaii started running medical dispensaries in 2016. A significant piece of marijuana-related legislation was approved in Hawaii in 2015, basically making marijuana use there only for medical purposes.
It is forbidden for anyone without cancer, HIV, or other “debilitating” diseases to contact the substance. Essentially the average Joe should not be purchasing or consuming weed in order to abide by Hawaiian state law.
However, the conversation of making marijuana legal for everyone is still happening and those laws could change in the future.
History of Marijuana Legislation
When SB 862 became Act 228 in 2000, Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical marijuana through legislation.
The bill modified Chapter 329 of the Hawaii Revised Laws and established cultivation restrictions, outlined eligibility requirements and provided defense against legal action for patients, caretakers, and recommending physicians.
Additionally, it mandated the establishment of a registration of patients and carers and gave the program’s management to the Department of Public Safety.
While medicinal cannabis was legalized in 2000, it took 18 years for dispensaries to gain their licenses and begin trading.
With the passage of HB 1383 in 2019, Hawaii decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Possession of 3 grams or less of cannabis carries just a fine of $130.
The punishment for having more than that, up to an ounce, is 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Places To Purchase Weed In Hawaii
On Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, patients can purchase medical marijuana through dispensaries that are subject to state regulation.
No more than 4 ounces (113 grams) of cannabis may be purchased by patients or caregivers in a 15-day period, and no more than 8 ounces (227 grams) in a 30-day period.
Cannabis must be kept concealed and in a sealed container when being transported by patients or caregivers.Cannabis cannot be shipped between islands.
Where Can You Consume Weed?
You may think that if you have a medical condition you can then consume marijuana wherever you please. This is not the case. Much like other legalized states, cannabis is only to be consumed in private.
Smoking and vaping medicinal cannabis can be done in private areas such as smoking areas and within the home. The consumption of cannabis is illegal in public areas which do not have a smoking area.
Can You Grow Weed In Hawaii?
If registered patients and caregivers have registered their intention to grow and have given the DOH the growing location, they are permitted to grow up to 10 plants.
Only at the patient’s or caregiver’s house or at a different location under their supervision are plants allowed to be grown.
The patient’s 329 card number and expiration date must be labeled on each plant, and the plants must all be in one place.
However, after December 31st, 2023, caregivers will no longer be permitted to grow cannabis for any patient. The exempt are minors, adults lacking capacity, or patients located on islands that do not have an operating dispensary.
It is not legal for those in full health and without a caregiver to cultivate their own cannabis plants. All marijuana must be purchased from a legal, licensed dispensary.
Required Medical Conditions
As mentioned above, there are various medical conditions which require the use of medicinal cannabis. These include:
- Positive HIV
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Your doctor can also prescribe medicinal cannabis for conditions such as:
- Severe Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Seizures, including those of epilepsy, or
- Severe and continuous muscle spasms
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
Hence, if you look at this list, it is clear that Hawaii is legalizing marijuana in order to treat serious and debilitating medical illnesses.
For the time being, it is at best debatable whether or not it will be legal to purchase marijuana for a straightforward headache.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Drugs Are Legal In Hawaii?
Since 2020, marijuana has been legal in the state of Hawaii. However, no other recreational drugs have been decriminalized.
Can You Bring Weed To Hawaii?
No. The transportation of cannabis or cannabis-infused products between islands or the mainland is illegal and will result in fines and even jail time.
Can You Smoke In Bars In Hawaii?
Smoking is not permitted in any public or private workplace, school, child care center, restaurant, bar, retail establishment, or recreational or cultural facility. In casinos and gaming venues, smoking is permitted.
The definition of smoking in the state includes e-cigarettes. This also includes the consumption of cannabis.
What Is Weed Called Is Hawaii?
The Hawaiian term for marijuana, pakalolo, literally translates to “numbing tobacco.” Cannabis use in the Hawaiian Islands has been documented since 1842, according to the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Nonanona, though its history is likely much older.
So, is weed legal in Hawaii? Unless you have a severe medical condition, no. But the government is in a discussion about lifting some restrictions and making it more accessible to the public.
To avoid being given a rather hefty fine, avoid smoking or consuming cannabis in public areas. And unless you are a caregiver to an appropriate patient, do not cultivate your own cannabis plants.
Above you can find everything you need to know about weed in Hawaii and what rules you must follow!
Learn more about West Coast weed laws and legal status of cannabis in neighboring states.
- Is weed legal in Alaska?
- Is weed legal in California?
- Is weed legal in Oregon?
- Is weed legal in Washington?
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.