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The Hawaiian Islands, known as the most remote populated archipelago, is home to lush rainforests, active volcanoes, and picturesque beaches. The Aloha state is also known for its easygoing attitude and thriving tourism.
Hawaii’s long history, ancient traditions, and relaxed lifestyle contribute to its developing medical cannabis market. Over the years, Hawaii has given rise to a number of crossbred strains with earth-shattering potencies.
Hawaii has a history of growing cannabis, but what exactly are its cannabis laws? Can you legally smoke a joint? Can you buy weed from a dispensary? Keep reading to find out everything you wanted to know about Hawaii’s marijuana laws.
Is Adult-Use Cannabis Legal in Hawaii?
Unfortunately, recreational cannabis use is prohibited in Hawaii. Residents and visitors are unable to partake in cannabis while exploring the beauty, culture, and adventure of the Hawaiian Islands.
In January 2020, Hawaii officially decriminalized marijuana after originally passing the bill in July 2019. Under the bill, jail time is removed for individuals who possess under three grams of cannabis. Violators will be cited a $130 fine.
Previously, Hawaiian law could convict an individual with low-level possession charges and penalize them with 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The decriminalization bill also included a provision to expunge criminal records for cases involving possession of under three grams of marijuana. A task force is expected to study and reform Hawaii’s cannabis use penalties.
Hawaii stands apart from other states with decriminalization laws by being one of the strictest states in terms of possession limits. Generally, states decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. Hawaii’s decriminalized possession limit is 10 times less than that.
Is Medical Cannabis Legal in Hawaii?
Former Hawaiian governor Ben Cayetano signed medical cannabis regulations into law in 2000. Under that law, medical cannabis cardholders are able to grow their own cannabis or appoint a caregiver to help them.
Hawaii was the first state to pass medical cannabis laws through legislation rather than voter approval. Act 228, however, didn’t establish regulations for a legal market or medical cannabis dispensaries.
In 2015, Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program was established to register medical marijuana cardholders. In 2016, Senate Bill 321 created a dispensary system, allowing eight medical dispensaries in the state. Legal sales began in August 2017 in Maui.
Under Hawaii’s medical cannabis laws, qualifying patients are allowed to buy up to four ounces of cannabis every 15 days. Medical cannabis patients can smoke and grow on private property away from public view.
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Hawaii?
In order to register online for Hawaii’s medical cannabis card, also known as the 329 card, you must have a valid driver's license, state ID, or passport. Follow these steps to register online and obtain your 329 card.
- Schedule an appointment with a licensed physician
- Click on the Application Portal here to create an account (username and password)
- View the In-State Patient Application instruction video
- Fill out the online application and upload the required documents
- Pay the $38.50 application fee ($35 application fee + $3.50 portal administration fee)
- Payment options include credit and debit card or direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account
- Submit your application to your physician
- Physician certifies your condition and submits your application to the Department of Health
If a doctor determines you have one of the following qualifying medical conditions, you may register for a 329 card:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease
329 Card Renewal
329 cards expire after one year. Patients are advised to renew their cards 60 days prior to the registration expiration date to avoid a lapse in treatment.
Patients may qualify for a two-year renewal registration if:
- The patient is renewing with the same physician who certified them the previous year; and
- The certifying physician states that the patient’s condition is chronic in nature; and
- The certifying physician agrees that a two-year 329 registration is in the patient’s best interest
Hawaii’s Cannabis Visitors Program
In March 2019, the state’s Department of Health established a cannabis visitors program for out-of-state medical patients. If you’re a visitor, you can get approved for up to sixty days from the moment you step foot on the Hawaiian Islands by paying a $49.50 application fee.
Is Hemp and CBD Legal in Hawaii?
In July 2016, Governor David Ige signed Act 228, creating an industrial hemp pilot program for agricultural or academic research. In February 2017, the state’s House of Representatives Agricultural Committee passed a bill removing civil sanctions for hemp growers.
In 2018, the U.S. passed the Farm Bill, legalizing cannabidiol (CBD) derived from industrial hemp across the nation. Hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound found in cannabis.
Online Cannabis Training in Hawaii
Are you interested in learning more about Hawaii’s marijuana laws? Do you want to learn how to start growing your very own medicinal cannabis garden? Do you want to earn a cannabis job in the country’s fastest-growing industry?
Enroll in CTU’s renowned online cannabis training program to get tons of video and e-book resources assembled by the brightest minds in cannabis. You’ll receive a thorough education that’ll prepare you to use cannabis wisely and start a career in this exciting industry!