Hawaii Legalization Bill Passes Through Senate With Strong Majority


Hawaii has moved one step towards adult-use cannabis legalization after a landmark bill was passed with a strong majority through the state’s Senate.

Yesterday (March 05), Senate Bill 3335 was approved by 19 votes to six by the full senate.

The bill will not head to the House of Representatives, where it will need to be passed before moving to Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green for final approval.

This bill would legalize the sale and possession of adult-use cannabis for people aged 21 and over by 1 January, 2026.

If passed, adults would be legally allowed to possess 1 ounce of cannabis flower and up to 5 grams of concentrates, while enabling Hawaiians to grow six plants in their homes.

The bill’s passage, which followed two committee approvals last week, came after three key amendments to the original bill were passed by the senate.

The first acknowledged distinctions between hemp and cannabis, seeing the regulator renamed as the Hawaii Hemp and Cannabis Authority, giving it the power to regulate all aspects of the plant and its uses.

Second, an amendment was made to enable individuals convicted of a felony who completed their sentences over 10 years ago can apply for licences for employment in the industry.

Finally, an amendment stipulated that the Department of Health and its agents should not investigate all complaints relating to ‘foul or noxious odours’ derived from cannabis.

Local advocacy groups are optimistic that the bill could finally move the dial on legalization in Hawaii, after years of failed attempts.

Jaclyn Moore, CEO and co-founder of Big Island Grown, a medical marijuana company based in Hawaii, told SFGATE: “Given the bill was drafted and supported by the attorney general and Governor Green’s administration … we’re optimistic that it will pass.”


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