Hawaii Marijuana Laws
Is weed legal in the Aloha State? Where can you buy it? Here, we’re breaking down Hawaii marijuana laws and everything that comes with them.
So, is marijuana legal in Hawaii?
Let's find out.
As a marijuana consumer who resides in the Aloha state or a visitor going to enjoy its sunny beaches, the legality of cannabis in the state is one topic that must have crossed your mind.
Is marijuana legal in Hawaii? Well, the answer depends on what you need it for. Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii, but recreational marijuana is not.
So, let’s look into the legal status of marijuana in Hawaii, including the Hawaii marijuana laws 2022, and how to get a medical marijuanas card in Hawaii.
The Story of Medical Marijuana in Hawaii
If you asked, “is marijuana legal in Hawaii?” any period before the year 2000, the answer would have been “no.”
However, on June 15, 2000, Hawaii became the eighth state to legalize medical marijuana. They became the first state to do so via the legislature instead of via a ballot initiative when Governor Bet Cayetano signed Act 228.
The law made it legal for qualifying patients with physician certification to grow and use marijuana.
Though the law legalized medical marijuana, it did not make provisions for dispensaries. Thus, patients could get their medication only via home cultivation.
It wasn’t until 2016 that the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), which oversees the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry, established a medical cannabis dispensary program and issued licenses to interested parties.
Consequently, the first medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii opened in 2017, 17 years after medical marijuana became legal in Hawaii.
The DOH says it issues about 1500 medical marijuana cards each month. And as of August 2022, there were 34,093 valid in-state patient medical marijuana cards.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Hawaii
Before buying and enjoying medical marijuana in Hawaii, every patient must register with the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Registry Program and get a Hawaii medical marijuana card.
Fortunately, Elevate Holistics knows all about the registration process, including the requirements and qualifying conditions.
Click here for a detailed breakdown of how to get a medical marijuanas card in Hawaii.
What are the Recreational Marijuana Laws in Hawaii?
Is marijuana legal in Hawaii? Well, not for recreational use yet.
Medical marijuana legalization is often a pathway to recreational legalization. But, it’s been over two decades since Hawaii legalized medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana is still illegal.
There have been several legalization attempts that have come up short. However, all hope is not lost.
In 2021, Governor David Ige signed SB 1139 — which mandated the creation of the Dual Use Cannabis Task Force.
This task force is to explore the legalization and regulation of adult-use cannabis and submit its report, including any proposed legislation, to the Hawaii legislature twenty days before the 2023 regular session convenes.
As a resident, you can make your voice known and advocate for legalization.
According to information from the Department of Health, “the Dual Use of Cannabis Task Force will be accepting oral and written testimony specific to the stated agenda items. We want to hear from you and encourage you to submit testimony.”
Click here for more information on the Dual Use Taskforce and how you can get involved.
While recreational cannabis is illegal in Hawaii, the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.
On January 11, 2020, House Bill 1383 eliminated jail time for possessing three grams of marijuana; instead, the penalty is a $130 fine.
Hawaii Recreational Marijuana Possession Penalties
It is illegal to possess marijuana in Hawaii if you are not a registered patient. So, the offense carries stringent penalties that include the following:
- Possession of more than three grams but less than one ounce is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 maximum fine.
- The possession of up to one ounce but less than one pound is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 maximum fine.
- Possession of more than one pound is a felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Hawaii Marijuana Laws 2022
It is not possible to discuss marijuana in Hawaii without talking about Hawaii’s cannabis laws.
These laws contain critical information that will benefit your health needs regarding medical marijuana and help you stay out of trouble.
What is the Possession Limit for Hawaii Marijuana?
It is easy to assume that because marijuana is legal, you can have as much as you want, but that’s not true.
The Hawaii pot laws specify that patients and their caregivers can only possess up to four ounces of cannabis and cannabis products at any time.
Where Can I Consume Marijuana in Hawaii?
Medical marijuana is legal, but that doesn’t mean you can consume it anywhere you like.
So, where can you consume marijuana in Hawaii?
Hawaii cannabis laws state that “all use of medical cannabis must be on private property. Do not use cannabis in your car while on the road, at work, at school, on school grounds, at the beach, at a park, on hiking trails, on a bus, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks.”
Can I Grow Marijuana in Hawaii?
Some patients like to grow marijuana at home; fortunately, Hawaii cannabis laws permit home cultivation.
Hawaii pot laws allow you to grow up to ten plants as a patient or caregiver. However, you must grow your marijuana plants in a secure location that is not visible to the public and is not open to unauthorized access.
Also, if you grow marijuana at home, your plants must have identification tags.
According to Hawaii cannabis laws, “The person who has been designated to cultivate cannabis shall have a legible identification tag, in a form and manner as determined by the department, on each cannabis plant being cultivated for the qualifying patient.”
The guidelines for proper marijuana plant tags are as follows:
- You must make each tag from durable material that is resistant to water and weather
- Each tag must have a solid color with black or blue lettering
- The face of each tag be at least 3” long by 1/4” wide
- You must place each tag around the bottom of the plant
- The tags must be visible from outside the plant
- Each tag must have your MMJ registration number and expiry date clearly written on it.
- The lettering on each tag must always be easily readable. If the lettering fades, you must replace the tag.
- If you get a new registration card, you must update the information on the tags to reflect the new information.
In the event that you don’t tag your plants or tag them improperly, law enforcement can confiscate them. You can buy your tags or make them yourself as long as they meet the guidelines.
Note that as of December 2023, it will be illegal for caregivers to grow marijuana except if they care for minors or adults who lack legal capacity, or their patients reside on islands that don’t have a dispensary.
Hawaii Medical Marijuana Laws and DUI
It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Hawaii, even if you have a valid MMJ card.
The Hawaii State Department of Health states, “although medical cannabis is legal, driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. You might get arrested or hurt yourself or someone else. So, ask a friend for a ride, call a cab, or take the bus.”
The police can pull you over and administer drug tests if they suspect you are driving under the influence of marijuana.
Also, there is no minimum marijuana threshold for determining that a person is driving under the influence of marijuana. So, you risk jail time and fines if the courts convict you of DUI.
The penalty for a first-time DUI offense is license revocation for one year, 48 hours to five days in jail, $150 to $1000 in fines, and a 14-hour substance abuse rehabilitation program.
A second DUI offense within ten years carries a sentence of up to thirty days in jail, $500 to $1500 in fines, and license revocation for up to two years. This also includes a 14-hour substance abuse program.
A third DUI offense within ten years is punishable by license suspension for up to two days, $500 to $2500 in fines, and up to thirty days in jail. In addition, the state may forfeit your vehicle.
Can Patients Have Hawaii Marijuana Caregivers?
Hawaii medical marijuana laws state that patients can have caregivers to help them with their medical marijuana needs.
A patient can have only one caregiver except for minors. Minors can have up to two caregivers who must be their parents or guardians or have legal custody of them.
The laws define a caregiver as “an individual, other than the patient, that is 18 years or older, and that has agreed to undertake the responsibility for managing the well-being of the qualifying patient with respect to the medical use of cannabis.”
A qualifying patient must designate the caregiver on their registration form. Also, caregivers must register with the DOH in the Medical Cannabis Registry Program.
What Protections Does Hawaii Marijuana Card Offer?
Hawaii medical marijuana laws state that employers, schools, and property owners may not discriminate against registered medical marijuana patients.
If a tenancy agreement prohibits smoking on the property, a medical marijuana patient cannot smoke marijuana on the property.
You can find the full prohibition against discrimination in Hawaii Senate Bill 242.
Does Hawaii Medical Marijuana Law Have Reciprocity?
Yes, marijuana patients visiting Hawaii can access medical marijuana on the island.
Hawaii marijuana laws 2022 allow out-of-state patients to access medical marijuana if they fulfill the following conditions:
- Must be certified in their home state as having a debilitating medical condition recognized in Hawaii
- Have a valid MMJ card issued in their home state
- Must have a valid ID or driver’s license from their home state
Hawaii Marijuana Dispensaries
While Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, access to medication remained challenging for patients because there was no provision for legal dispensaries.
The only source of medical marijuana available to patients was home cultivation, but that changed in July 2015 when Governor David Ige signed Act 241, which created the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program.
The Hawaii Department of Health states that “the goal of the dispensary licensure program is to make medicinal products readily available for registered patients while balancing the health and safety of patients and the public.”
According to Hawaii marijuana laws 2022, you must have your valid MMJ card, valid state ID, valid state driver’s license, or valid passport before accessing a dispensary.
Today, there are eight marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii. You can find links to their locations and contact addresses here.
Elevate Holistics: The Best of Medical Marijuana in Hawaii
Is marijuana legal in Hawaii? Yes, but only if you need it for medical reasons, and we can help you get access without any hassle.
At Elevate Holistics, we put you first, meaning we work round the clock to ensure we meet your medical marijuana needs and there’s no obstacle in your way on your journey to wellness.
We are a complete package when it comes to marijuana-related services, and we know all about how to get a medical marijuanas card in Hawaii.
While we cannot offer you a medical card recommendation in this state, we can help you better understand how to get your MMJ card, the laws, and so much more.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions