Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Legalization Bill Through First Reading

Legislation to legalize marijuana in Hawaii has passed its first reading in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 205 was filed by Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki. It; “Authorizes persons 21 years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Provides for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, safety testing facilities, and retail stores” and; “Applies an excise tax on transactions between marijuana establishments.”

Specifically, the measure would allow those 21+ to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to five plants. A regulated system of licensed cannabis retail outlets would also be authorized. All-in-all, the measure is similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64 which legalized cannabis in that state in 2012.

A separate measure to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana concentrates was passed through its first reading in the Senate.

Senate Bill 169; “Allows the possession and distribution of marijuana or marijuana concentrate for personal use; provided that the amount of marijuana or marijuana concentrate does not exceed one ounce and is used for private, personal, or recreational purposes by persons twenty-one years of age or older. Creates a defense to a marijuana-related offense if the marijuana or marijuana concentrate was for personal use, except for possession by or distribution to a minor.”

Both measures must be passed through several more readings before being sent to the opposite chamber, where their passage would send them to Governor David Ige for final consideration.

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