Hawaii Lawmakers File 3 Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Proposals

Nearly a year after a Senate-approved adult-use cannabis legalization bill languished in the Hawaii House, lawmakers have filed three new adult-use cannabis legalization proposals.

Rep. David Tarnas and Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole introduced a pair of companion bills Jan. 24 that stem from Attorney General Anne Lopez’s legalization proposal last year, according to Forbes.

As Cannabis Business Times previously reported, on Jan. 5, Lopez’s office sent lawmakers a revised 315-page draft bill to legalize adult-use cannabis. While Lopez said her office does not support adult-use legalization, she acknowledged that policy reform is likely inevitable, and said her department’s focus was to provide lawmakers with legal concerns and the “significant risks to public safety and public health” should the Legislature approve adult-use cannabis legislation.

Tarnas’ House Bill 2600 and Keohokalole’s Senate Bill 3335 would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis and up to 5 grams of concentrates. The legislation would also allow adults to grow up to six plants at home and to possess up to 10 ounces of harvested cannabis for personal use.

H.B. 2600 and S.B. 3335 would create the Hawaii Cannabis Authority to oversee the adult-use industry, and the agency would be supervised by a Cannabis Control Board led by an executive director and made up of five appointed members.

The legislation would levy a 10% excise tax on cannabis sales in addition to Hawaii’s 4% sales tax.

If passed, the bills would take effect Jan. 1, 2026.

Separately, on Jan. 19, Sen. Joy San Buenaventura filed Senate Bill 2487 to decriminalize the possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis for adults. While such offenses are currently misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail, S.B. 2487 would reclassify them as civil violations punishable only by a fine.

Rep. Gene Ward filed a third adult-use cannabis-related proposal Jan. 22. His House Bill 2037 would kick the issue to the ballot, allowing Hawaii’s voters to weigh in on a constitutional amendment to allow adults 21 and older to possess and use cannabis. If approved, the nonbinding amendment would allow the Legislature to enact legislation to tax and regulate an adult-use cannabis market in Hawaii.

All three legalization proposals now await consideration in committee.

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