Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Multiple Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Proposals

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Hawaii lawmakers are considering multiple adult-use cannabis legalization proposals this year, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

H.B. 7, sponsored by Reps. Jeanne Kapela (D-South Kona, Ka’u), Nicole Lowen (D-North Kona), Mark Nakashima (D-Hamakua, Hilo) and Richard Onishi (D-Hilo), aims to legalize the personal use, possession and sale of cannabis for adults 21 and older, the news outlet reported. The legislation would also create a system for licensing cannabis businesses, as well as levy an excise tax on adult-use sales.

Kapela, along with Reps. David Tarnas (D-North Kona/South and North Kohala) and Chris Todd (D-Hilo), have also introduced H.B. 238, a separate adult-use legalization measure that goes a step further to allocate an unspecified percentage of excise tax revenues for Hawaii’s counties, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

In the Senate, lawmakers have introduced S.B. 704, which also aims to legalize adult-use cannabis and establish a commercial marketplace with licensed businesses, which would be subject to excise taxes, the news outlet reported.

Also pending in the Senate are three cannabis decriminalization bills, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. S.B. 47 would decriminalize the possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis or up to one-eighth of cannabis concentrate, and would eliminate the penalty for transferring up to 1 ounce of cannabis or up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate to adults 21 and older.

S.B. 705 would reclassify cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule V under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and would also increase the amount that qualifies as a violation of promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree from 3 grams to 10 grams.

Finally, S.B. 758 would increase the amount of cannabis that an individual must possess to be charged with a petty misdemeanor from 3 grams to 1 ounce.

Sen. Dru Kanuha (D-Kona, Ka’u) has also introduced S.B. 1010, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported, which would extend the time for Hawaii’s marijuana evaluation task force to submit its report to the legislature, as well as require the task force to also evaluate the potential economic benefits of cannabis decriminalization.

All pending bills must move to their final committees for consideration by Feb. 19, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.



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