Hawaii’s Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bill Dies In House Of Representatives


Hawaii’s efforts to legalize adult-use cannabis have been thwarted by its House of Representatives, who announced this week the bill would not receive another hearing this legislative session.

As Business of Cannabis reported last week, Hawaii’s SB 3335 bill recently scraped past its final committee hearing, marking the furthest any bill relating to cannabis legalization had made it in the state.

Despite gaining bipartisan support in the Senate, last month’s 25-23 vote to move it forward to the Finance Committee laid bare the growing opposition to the bill, and now SB 3335 is effectively dead in the water for this legislative session after House leaders decided the bill was unlikely to survive a vote in the chamber.

The heated debate saw Democrats divided over the bill, but ultimately concerns regarding the safety of cannabis legalization won out.

House Finance Chair Kyle Yamashita said: “We recognize that now is not the opportune time for its implementation, as we navigate the challenges of managing the largest wildfire recovery efforts in Hawaii’s history.”

According to local news outlet Hawaii News Now, Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, who led the opposition, said: “I think the House members have never really been asked to study this before.

“I think they looked at what was happening in other states, and they decided the research is not looking so good about legalizing marijuana.”

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

Democrat Representative Kyle Yamashita, Chair of the House Finance Committee, stated: “The path to legalizing adult-use cannabis has been a deeply divisive issue.

“Due to numerous concerns regarding the implementation of the bill, the House has decided against further deliberation in the House Finance Committee. This decision is strengthened by the prevailing ‘no’ votes from committee members expressed on the House floor.”


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