Legislation to Legalize Marijuana Passes First Reading in Hawaii Senate

Hawaii’s Senate has advanced legislation that would make marijuana legal for those 21 and older.

According to the Hawaii Legislature’s official website, Senate Bill 2683 was introduced on Friday and “Passed First Reading” yesterday. The measure was filed by Senator Kalani English (D) and is cosponsored by Senators Russell Ruderman (D), Brickwood Galuteria (D) and Gil Keithagaran (D). The proposal “Legalizes the personal use, possession, and sale of marijuana in a specified quantity”. It “Requires licensing to operate marijuana establishments”, and “Subjects marijuana establishments to excise taxes and income taxes.”

Senate Bill 2683 being passed through its first reading comes on the same day as Vermont officially becoming the ninth state to legalize marijuana, and the first to ever to do through their legislature and governor (rather than through the initiative process). It also comes less than six months after Hawaii’s first medical cannabis dispensary opened its doors, which was made possible through legislation approved by lawmakers in 2015 (a vote that came 15 years after the state initially legalized medical cannabis).

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Hawaii to Become First State to Go Cashless for Marijuana Sales

By Audrey McAvoy | AP

Hawaii said Tuesday that it will be the first state to require marijuana sales to be handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii won’t be allowed to accept cash beginning Oct. 1 and will require people to use a debit payment app instead. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.

Many marijuana businesses use cash because banks fear pot money could expose them to legal trouble from the U.S. government, which regulates banking and still bans marijuana.

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Hawaii Bill to Make State Refer to “Medical Marijuana” as “Medical Cannabis” Passes Two House Committees Unanimously

Two House committee in Hawaii have unanimously passed a bill to change the way the state refers to “medical marijuana”.

[Update: According to Senator Mike Gabbard the measure has now been passed unanimously by the full House of Representatives.]

Senate Bill 786 has been passed by both the House Health Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, both unanimously. The measure, filed by Senator Mike Gabbard (D), has already been passed by the Senate with a 25 to 0 vote. It will soon be up for a vote in the full House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 786 would amend “Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules to substitute references to “medical marijuana” and like terms with “medical cannabis” and like terms”, and “Requires the department of health to make all conforming revisions to documents, letterhead, websites, and other necessary items by December 31, 2019.”

Read moreHawaii Bill to Make State Refer to “Medical Marijuana” as “Medical Cannabis” Passes Two House Committees Unanimously

Hawaii Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Bill to Legalize Hemp

hempfieldHawaii’s full House of Representatives has given unanimous approval to legislation that woud explicitly legalize the cultivation, production and distribution of hemp in the state. The measure – House Bill 2555 – now heads to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Under the proposed law, introduced by Representative Kaniela Ing (D-Kihei) with 34 cosponsors, those wanting to cultivate hemp will be legally authorized to do so, as long as they receive a license from the state’s Department of Argiculture.

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Cannabis Would be Legal Under New Hawaii Bill

hawaiiNew legislation has been introduced in Hawaii’s Senate that would legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older. The proposal – Senate Bill 2581 – has four sponsors and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee.

If approved into law, the proposal would make it so that the “possession, use, display, purchase, transfer, or transport of marijuana, marijuana accessories, or marijuana paraphernalia for personal use shall be immune from criminal prosecution”. The “possession, growing, processing, or transporting” of up to six cannabis plants (no more than three flowering) would also be legal, as would the “transfer or sale of one ounce or less of marijuana with or without remuneration”.

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Hawaii Governor Plans to Sign Bill Legalizing Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

hawaiiHawaii Governor David Ige plans to sign House Bill 321 into law, legalizing medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state, according to a spokeswoman for the governor.

The proposal, which was approved 24 to 0 in the Senate, and 38 to 13 in the House of Representatives, will legalize the distribution of medical cannabis through state-licensed dispensaries, which will be supplied by licensed cultivation centers. In total, the bill authorizes 16 dispensaries (and 16 production centers) throughout the state. Qualified patients will be able to purchase their medicine from any of these 16 outlets, giving them their first means of safe access to medical cannabis since it was legalized by lawmakers in 2000.

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Hawaii Joint Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

A hawaiijoint Senate/House conference committee in Hawaii has given approval to a modified version of House Bill 321, which would legalize the distribution of medical cannabis through state-sanctioned dispensaries. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it’s already passed 23 to 2, and to the House of Representatives. Its passage in both chambers will send it to Governor David Ige for consideration.

House Bill 321 would authorize 16 dispensaries and 16 production centers throughout the state, which would supply medical cannabis to qualified patients.

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Measure to Decriminalize Cannabis Unanimously Passes Senate Committee in Hawaii

Hawaii’s Senatehawaii2 Health Committee has unanimously passed Senate Bill 596 , a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

If approved into law, Senate Bill 596 would remove criminal penlites for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, reducing the charge to a simple $100 civil infraction. The measure would apply to everyone 18 and older.

In 2013, Hawaii’s Senate voted unanimously to approve a similar decriminalization proposal, though that measure unfortunately didn’t advance further before the session ended.

Read moreMeasure to Decriminalize Cannabis Unanimously Passes Senate Committee in Hawaii