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Thursday, February 16, 2023
Senate Committees Advance Bill Legalizing Hashish and Honey Butane Oil
By News Release @ 3:32 PM :: 2554 Views :: Taxes, Drugs


News Release from Hawaii State Senate, Feb 16, 2023

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Today, the Senate Committees on Health and Human Services and Commerce and Consumer Protection voted to pass Senate Bill 375 (SB375) with amendments.

The bill seeks to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis and other related products intended for responsible adult use. Additionally, it proposes the establishment of the Hawaiʻi Cannabis Authority (the authority) while also exempting sales of cannabis and its manufactured products for medical use from the general excise tax.

The amendments incorporated in the bill encompass a few key points. Firstly, the authority will be required to implement rules on licensing, fees, operations, testing, and all issues concerning the dispensing, sale, and taxation of adult-use cannabis pursuant to Chapter 91.

The authority must complete the adoption of these rules by December 1, 2024, and applications for licenses must begin by January 31, 2025. Licenses must be issued no later than March 30, 2025.

The bill also transfers all jurisdictions relating to medical marijuana dispensary operations, licensing, testing, and administration previously under the Department of Health to the authority.

In addition, it legalizes possession of cannabis by adults in amounts of four ounces or less and mandates that any convictions for adult possession of four ounces or less be expunged.

Lastly, the bill includes appropriations for the Department of Health to implement these measures.

“Enacting legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in Hawaiʻi would bring about not just a triumph for individual liberties and reform of the criminal justice system, but it would also create prospects for fresh sources of income and economic advancement in the state,” said Senator Joy San Buenaventura, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “By adopting a conscientious and closely monitored cannabis sector, Hawaiʻi has the potential to generate considerable tax revenue and employment opportunities while also providing support to local farmers and other small-scale enterprises.”

In addition, Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, remarked that the bill requires the authority to enforce guidelines that relate to all issues concerning the distribution, sale, and taxation of adult-use cannabis.

“This bill helps to ensure that the authority adheres to the procedures laid out in Chapter 91,” said Sen. Keohokalole. “These requirements ensure that the authority's procedure of formulating regulations is transparent and includes public participation.”

SB375 now moves to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.



News Release from Hawaii State Senate, Feb 14, 2023

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The Senate Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Health and Human Services (HMS) will hear a bill tomorrow to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Senate Bill 375 (SB375), introduced by Senator Chris Lee, would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis and manufactured cannabis products for responsible adult use. The measure would also exempt the sales of cannabis and manufactured cannabis products for medical use from the general excise tax.

(Marijuana will be exempt from GET but real medicine won't.  Meanwhile while marijuana prohibition is being repealed, tobacco prohibition is being enacted  -- see below.)

WHAT: Hearing on SB375

WHEN: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Capitol Room 229 & Videoconference

The public can view the hearing live here:

For more information, please contact the committee clerk at (808) 586-6890.


A M E N D E D   A G E N D A

Link: Hearing Announcement

SB 375 Status & Testimony


Legalizes, regulates, and taxes cannabis and manufactured cannabis products for responsible, adult use. Exempts sales of cannabis and manufactured cannabis products for medical use from the general excise tax. Clarifies that qualifying out-of-state patients have the same rights and privileges under the medical cannabis law. Allows qualifying out-of-state patients to cultivate medical cannabis. HHS/CPN, JDC/WAM HEARING HHS-CPN 02-15-23

SB 975 Status & Testimony


Establishes the criminal offense of unlawful shipment of tobacco products. Amends the definition of "tobacco products" under the Cigarette Tax and Tobacco Tax Law to include electronic smoking devices and e-liquids. Increases the license fee for persons engaged as wholesalers or dealers of cigarettes and tobacco products and the retail tobacco permit fee for retailers engaged in the retail sale of cigarettes and tobacco products. Repeals state laws that establish and govern the Electronic Smoking Device Retailer Registration Unit within the Department of the Attorney General; provisions of the Cigarette Tax and Tobacco Tax Law that govern delivery sales; and state law governing smoking that preempts and voids local ordinances and regulations conflicting with state law. Effective January 1, 2024. HHS/CPN, WAM/JDC

SB 962 Status & Testimony


Amends the dispensary program licensing fee structure. Adds or clarifies signage, manufactured cannabis product, packaging, escort, and background check requirements for the medical cannabis dispensary program. Establishes annual reporting requirements to increase public transparency regarding the medical cannabis registry program. Makes various housekeeping amendments. HHS/CPN, JDC/WAM [Measure added on 02/10/23]   

  *   *   *   *   *

MM: Hawaii Senators Discuss New Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee, With Plans For Vote Later This Week 

KITV: New Hawaii bill would allow possession of ‘small amount’ of marijuana for personal use

HTH: Recreational cannabis bills spark debates


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