Is Marijuana Legal in Hawaii?

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Marijuana has mixed legality in Hawaii and its industry is certainly not as restrictive as states like Georgia. It is known for being the first state to legalize medical marijuana via the legislature in the United States. There are also pending legislations that seek to fully legalize cannabis in Hawaii. Hawaii’s medical marijuana industry is however not perfect and is a work in progress. This page explores all you need to know regarding whether marijuana is legal in Hawaii, or not.

Is weed legal in Hawaii?

Unfortunately, recreational use of cannabis is strictly prohibited in Hawaii. 

When will weed be legal in Hawaii?

While there is pending legislation seeking to change this in the state, there is no timeline or indication of when this will happen.

Are edibles legal in Hawaii?

No, edibles are illegal in Hawaii.

Is medical marijuana legal in Hawaii?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii. It was legalized back in 2000 via the state’s legislature. Expectedly, only qualifying patients registered with the state can access medical marijuana.

How to get medical marijuana in Hawaii

Medicinal cannabis can be purchased by qualified patients who have a 329 Card from any of the licensed dispensaries spread across the state. Purchasing cannabis within Hawaii must be within the legal limits. Patients or their caregivers are also prohibited from transporting cannabis between islands.

Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Hawaii?

No, along with being listed on the patient registry, you must have a Hawaii 329 Card (medical marijuana card) before you can purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary. However, since Hawaii has numerous islands, some do not have a licensed dispensary. 

How long does it take to get your medical card in Hawaii?

It can take anywhere from 2-5 weeks to receive your Hawaii 329 in the mail. However, you can print copies online once your application is approved. The medical marijuana card is also valid for 2 years from when it’s first issued.

Does Hawaii accept out-of-state MMJ cards?

Yes, however, out-of-state patients are required to register on Hawaii’s marijuana program and get a temporary marijuana card which is valid for 60 days.

Marijuana bills/laws in Hawaii & key questions

For a state that was the first to legalize medical marijuana via the legislature, Hawaii’s initial path towards allowing the sale of marijuana statewide was slow. Medical cannabis in Hawaii became legal in 2000 after Senate Bill 862 became Act 228. Lawmakers essentially amended Chapter 329 of Hawaii’s Revised Statutes to make provisions for the state’s medical marijuana program. The provisions included setting limits for cultivation, listing qualifying conditions for patients, and protection against prosecution for patients, caregivers, and recommending physicians.

The law was subsequently amended to expand limits, the list of qualifying conditions, and make provisions for licensing dispensaries. As a result, despite becoming legal in 2000, legal sales of medicinal marijuana did not start in Hawaii until 2018. The amendments subsequently gave oversight of Hawaii’s medical marijuana program to the Department of Health (DOH).

Hawaii also decriminalized marijuana possession in 2019 when HB 1383 was passed. This law also allowed for prisoners convicted for non-violent marijuana possession charges under 3 grams to be released and have their records expunged. However, the prisoners who meet the conditions have to petition for release into a drug-treatment program. Only prisoners who complete the program can be fully released and have their records expunged.

How much marijuana can I have in Hawaii? (in oz) 

At any given time, patients and their caregivers cannot have more than 4 ounces (113 grams) of usable marijuana in their possession. However, they can only purchase a maximum of 4 ounces every 15 days and 8 ounces every 30 consecutive days.

Is Marijuana decriminalized in Hawaii?

Hawaii has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis across the state. For instance, possessing cannabis below 3 grams only attracts a fine of $130.

Is there a fine or penalty for marijuana possession in Hawaii?

Yes, there are varying fines and penalties for various degrees of marijuana possession in the state. For example, possession below 3 grams only attracts a fine of $130. However, any possession from 3 grams to an ounce attracts a $1000 fine and a penalty of 30 days imprisonment.

How many cannabis plants per household in Hawaii?

Registered patients and their caregivers are allowed to cultivate up to 10 cannabis plants. However, they are required to register their intent to grow and the cultivation location with the state’s Department of Health. The plants must also be tagged with the patients’ 329 card number and expiry date and must be in one location.

However, from December 31st, 2023, caregivers will be prohibited from growing marijuana unless it’s for a minor or a patient that’s unable to grow by themself.

Hawaii dispensaries regulations

The Hawaii Department of Health is the designated authority responsible for administering the state’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program.

Hawaii growers regulations

Again, the Department of Health oversees the growing of marijuana both for personal and commercial uses across Hawaii.

Closing thoughts

Hawaii’s medical marijuana industry has been slow to evolve from when legislation was initially enacted without provision for a local market. However, it seems to be catching up at the moment. There are also ongoing efforts in the state’s legislature to legalize recreational cannabis statewide. If this pulls through, it will further open the local industry up and help the state enjoy the benefits of being fully legalized for marijuana.

We are NOT legal advisers. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice, should not be construed as legal advice nor relied upon as such.