Cannabis Regulatory Update: Hawaii Legalization, NJ Still In Question, South Dakota AG Won’t Defend Adult-Use

glass jar with cannabis spilling out onto wooden table


Hawaii Senate Says Yes To Cannabis Legalization

Hawaii Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs voted in favor of two cannabis measures on Tuesday. (h/t Marijuana Moment)

The first bill asks for adult-use cannabis legalization and the other to amend the state’s current decimalization law.

The Aloha State decriminalized the possession of up to three grams of cannabis in 2019, under a law that went into effect in 2020.

The law also replaced criminal penalties with a $130 fine.


Hawaii: Lawmakers push to legalize marijuana for personal use

man cutting marijuana buds

Outside medical cannabis use, more than a half dozen marijuana-related bills, including a measure to legalize its recreational use, have been introduced this legislative session.

Not one had secured a hearing before an assigned committee as of press-time Thursday. Feb. 19 is the deadline for all bills referred to more than one committee to move to their final committee. Bills referred to three committees must reach their second committee by Feb. 11.



House Bill 7 would legalize the personal use, possession, and sale of marijuana in a specified quantity for those 21 and older, establish a means for licensing marijuana establishments, and subject marijuana sales to excise and income taxes.


Hawaii: New medical cannabis bills proposed for 2021

growing marijuana plants

More than a dozen other medical cannabis-related bills have been introduced this legislative session. They include:

• Senate Bill 145, which would authorize the manufacture and distribution of cannabis seeds and cannabis clones by medical cannabis dispensary licensees, was combined with Senate Bill 254, which would allow dispensaries to distribute cannabis propagules and cuttings to authorized patients and caregivers, and was passed with amendments, including a cap on the number of clones or cuttings. It next needs to secure a hearing before the Committee on Judiciary.


Hawaii lawmakers push to legalize marijuana for personal use

man lighting up his cannabis joint

With the state strapped for cash, some Hawaii lawmakers are considering legalizing recreational marijuana. Despite years of similar measures being shot down, some of the state's top house leaders have signed on this year.


The bill would allow people to have up to an ounce of cannabis. It would also create a process for cultivators to grow and sell marijuana which would then be taxed by the state. State house representative Jeanne Kapela and other lawmakers KITV4 spoke with Friday, believe the move could generate at least $150 million in revenue for the state at a time when the state is in desperate need of money.


15 States Have Now Legalized Recreational Cannabis. What About Hawaii?

Legalizing recreational use of marijuana in Hawaii might finally get some political traction at the Legislature now that 15 other states have taken the plunge and there is an urgent need for more tax revenue due to the pandemic.

State Attorney General Clare Connors has already assembled a working group of her deputies to advise lawmakers on the issues involved in legalizing and regulating marijuana. Some key House and Senate lawmakers support legalization, including Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English, House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke and Senate Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads.

But many in law enforcement remain strongly opposed to legalization for recreational use, and there will certainly be some political pushback against such a proposal.


The Conversation: Diversifying Hawaii's Economy With Hemp

Hemp & the Maui Hemp Institute; Environmental Report Card; Reality Check: Lanai Covid Cluster; Manu Minute

Hemp & the Maui Hemp Institute

Our economic crisis has spurred lots of emphasis on diversifying our economy and looking to boost local agriculture. Hemp is a crop that has long had a cheering section but the regulation has been an uphill battle for farmers. We talked to Steve Rose of the Maui Hemp Institute about how farmers will now have to apply for permits with the USDA.

Environmental Report Card

Throughout this week we are looking into a recent report card on our environment.


Concerns remain about new Hawaii hemp law

Hawaii will adopt a federal industrial hemp production program at the end of this month, signaling the end of the state’s two-year-long Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

However, the changing programs have hemp farmers worried, with concerns that growing hemp will no longer be economically viable under the federal program.

Thanks to a bill passed by the state Legislature during the last session and signed into law by Gov. David Ige, the state legalized the growth of hemp throughout the state via the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hemp production program. But while this bill ostensibly removed roadblocks for farmers seeking a license to grow hemp, farmers under the pilot program believe the USDA program is significantly more restrictive.


Medical Cannabis Retail Dispensaries Approved on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health issued a formal notice to proceed to Hawaiian Ethos LLC on the island of Hawai‘i and Manoa Botanicals LLC, dba Noa Botanicals on O‘ahu, after both passed their final onsite inspections for their third retail facilities.

Hawaiian Ethos’ new retail location in Hilo at 578 Kanoelehua Avenue expects to begin sales on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Noa Botanicals’ new retail location in ʻAiea at 98-302 Kamehameha Highway expects to open today.


Bill opens up Hawai‘i to hemp industry

‘OMA‘O — The team at Kaua‘i Hemp Company Farms and Nalu Botanicals Lab stand in front of the “Ka la hiki ola” mural overlooking its farm in ‘Oma‘o, thinking that it truly is a “dawning of a new day.”

The signing of House Bill 1819 by Gov. David Ige legalizes the growth, processing and sale of industrial hemp in the state, and for Nalu Botanicals Lab, the first and only toll processing facility in the state, this bill opens up new opportunities and business by the ten-fold.

The first U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic hemp farm in the state, founder Daryl Kaneshiro’s four acres of industrial hemp goes from seed to refined cannabidiol oil all on the property.

If this bill wasn’t signed, this massive operation would have had to close.


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