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Law Hawaii


Well-Known Member
First medical marijuana dispensary opening in Hawaii

By Cathy Bussewitz | AP August 8 at 5:24 PM
HONOLULU — Dispensary sales of medical marijuana in Hawaii are beginning after patients waited 17 years for a legal way to purchase the drug.

Maui Grown Therapies received approval from the Department of Health to begin selling medical cannabis Tuesday.

The dispensary plans to start selling medical marijuana to patients Tuesday, said Teri Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs.

“Clearly this is a historic day not just for Maui but for the state of Hawaii,” Freitas Gorman said. “This is the first time in Hawaii that patients will be able to buy lab-tested, quality-assured medical cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary. We’re so excited.”

The Maui dispensary has been pre-registering patients and will begin selling medical cannabis to patients by appointment only, Freitas Gorman said. Walk-in sales will start in about a week.

“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, in a statement. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception.”

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. But the state didn’t legalize dispensaries until 2015, so the state’s 18,000 patients had to grow or obtain the drug on their own.

17 years....17 fucking years. People wonder how our electorate could have voted for somebody like Trump...well, this should help explain why they would vote for ANYBODY but the mendacious, ass covering, poll watching, no leading, pinche pendejo, set of political MF's we call our professional political class that we already have. This kind of malfeasance is the answer.

17 fucking years it took them to allow a dispensary to open. 17 years. How are these assholes still allowed to gorge at the public trough? sigh
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Well-Known Member
Lmfao.... you are really getting creative with your adjectives....:rofl:
hehehehe...yeah, really got that one off of my back. LOL Had to look up how to spell "pendejo". Been called that a few times, but believe that this is the first time I every have had to write it out! LOL


Well-Known Member
Huge Marijuana Fight Explodes in Hawaii

Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary is lashing out at the Department of Health after causing delays in supplying cannabis.

Hawaii’s first medical cannabis dispensary is already having to suspend sales just five days after it began selling marijuana, and the operators aren’t happy, lashing out at the government in a scathing statement. The reason for the suspension is because of lab delays, an unforeseen issue that the Hawaii State Labs Division ran into that resulted in the company selling out its first batch of certified weed on Saturday and having nothing anything to replace it with, and the dispensary slammed the government in a statement.

It’s an illustration of the numerous random obstacles states are running into when weed is legalized. Fortunately, it’s not looking to be a big problem for the dispensary yet, with sales expected to resume on Aug. 16. But for a dispensary hoping to allow general sales for walk-in customers on Monday, Aug. 14, it was an irritating development, and they are worried this is just the start of problems.

Maui Grown Therapies expressed irritation at the Department of Health in a statement, ripping the government for forcing them to only sell flowers for the time being and added that it was unclear when the situation would improve.

Hawaii has joined a number of other states in the U.S. in legalizing marijuana, and the push for legalization nationwide continues to gain steam even as it remains illegal at the federal level. Many states have even passed laws to make the recreational sale of marijuana legal.

The full statement from Maui Grown Therapies follows below.

Hawaiʻi’s first medical cannabis dispensary awaits action by the Hawaiʻi State Labs Division to help unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality assured medicinal cannabis products.

The company anticipated its most recent batch of flowers to clear lab certification by today, but that has not happened. Due to high demand, the company sold out its first batch of certified flowers on Saturday. To prevent patients from fruitless trips to its dispensary, the company will close on Monday and Tuesday, August 14 & 15, and reopen on Wednesday, August 16 at noon. Due to uncertain product availability, the company will extend its sales by appointment policy until further notice.

“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, Director of Product Management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

Since opening last week Hawaiʻi dispensaries could sell only flowers— resulting in depleted flower stocks on Maui and disappointed patients. “We could serve thousands of patients with the amount of manufactured product we currently have available for final compliance testing,” said Cole. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24th to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients – and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change.”

Maui Grown Therapies co-founder and oncologist Gregory Park, MD is disappointed by the administrative bottleneck from a health perspective. “It’s ironic that our vehemently anti-smoking Department of Health is forcing cannabis patients to smoke to get relief,” he commented.

To better manage sales traffic to match product availability, Maui Grown Therapies will extend its “sales by appointment” policy until further notice. Patients may make a sales appointment through the company’s website. Dispensary operating hours have been adjusted to Mon-Sat, noon to 6 pm until further notice. As required by law, Maui Grown Therapies will be closed for Admissions Day on Friday, August 18.

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on the legalization situation of cannabis in Hawaii.

Cannabis in Hawaii is illegal for recreational use. Possession is permitted only for medical use and otherwise remains a criminal infraction.

A popular Hawaiian language term for cannabis is pakalolo (crazy tobacco),[1] and the term appears in the Hawaiian newspaper Ka Nonanona as early as 1842.[2] Hawaii is famous for its cannabis, with many strains developed locally

In 2015, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program of Hawaii was created to require those who qualify for medical marijuana to register before using marijuana for medical purposes.(health.hawaii.gov) To register, you must have a licensed physician certifying that the patient’s health condition can be benefited from medical marijuana. The patient will then receive a 329 Registration Card issued by the Department of Health.The goal of the Department of Health for issuing the 329 Registration Card is to issue it in a timely manner so that patients can continue or start to use medical marijuana legally.[4]

In July 2015, The Act 241 was passed. It states that the Hawaii Department of Health will administer the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program by 2016 and dispensaries can begin to dispense medical and manufactured marijuana products as early as July 2016 assuming that the Department of Health grants approval to these dispensaries.[5]

To address legal acquisition of cannabis, in 2016 Senate Bill 321 established a dispensary system, allowing eight dispensaries in the state, designated by island.[6]

Wow, Hawaii seems like its out to make even Maryland look competent in comparison. sigh


Well-Known Member
Hawaii says it’s 1st state to go cashless for pot sales

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii said Tuesday that it aims to be the first state to have marijuana sales handled without cash, saying it wanted to avoid robberies and other crimes targeting dispensaries.

All of Hawaii’s eight licensed dispensaries have agreed to go cashless by Oct. 1, the governor’s office said. The dispensaries will ask patients to use a debit payment app to buy their pot instead of cash. The app is already an option for marijuana transactions in six states, including California and Colorado.

Iris Ikeda, the state’s financial institutions commissioner, told reporters at a news conference that state officials haven’t discussed whether people wanting to pay in cash will be turned away from dispensaries.

“Oct. 1 is our target date to try to go cashless as much as we can,” Ikeda said.

Helen Cho, director of the Honolulu-based Aloha Green dispensary, said dispensaries won’t be required to go cashless and the company won’t turn away patients who want to pay in cash. The dispensary will be encouraging people to use the cashless system, she said.

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.

The debit app called CanPay uses a Colorado-based credit union to facilitate transactions. The Hawaii dispensaries will set up accounts with the credit union, called Safe Harbor Private Banking.

Under the cashless system, customers use their checking accounts to pay CanPay, which sends the payment to Safe Harbor.

Hawaii was still working on allowing prepaid, stored-value cards to be used an alternative for people who don’t have checking accounts, Ikeda said.

Becky Dansky, legislative counsel at Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based organization that aims to change federal law to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies, said it’s good to find alternatives to dealing with large amounts of cash.

But she said it’s a concern that Hawaii’s program will rely on one specific system, given the risks of a hacker attack or a company going out of business.

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. But the state didn’t grant licenses to any dispensaries until last year. Maui Grown Therapies became the first to open last month after the state Department of Health gave it approval to begin sales.

During the Obama administration, the Justice Department issued guidelines to help banks avoid federal prosecution when dealing with pot businesses in states where the drug is legal.

But most banks don’t see those rules as a shield against charges that could include aiding drug trafficking. They say the rules are difficult to follow, placing the burden on banks to determine if a pot business is operating within the law.

There is also uncertainty over how the Trump administration will react. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he wants to crack down on the legal marijuana industry.

Credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard say they won’t allow their cards to be used to buy cannabis or marijuana-related products.

Patients who don’t own smartphones will have to create CanPay accounts with an email address and personal identification number. Patients will be able buy pot by logging on to their accounts with computer tablets at the dispensaries.


Well-Known Member
Yeah, just watch out that those Lava Rocks you have been pining for ain't real ones. Got to dodge the lava over there right now.

Kauai’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Approved to Begin Sales

HONOLULU (AP) — Kauai’s first medical marijuana dispensary has received approval to begin sales on the island.

Have a Heart will open for business Monday after receiving approval from the state Department of Health late last week.

“Having a medical cannabis dispensary open on Kauai expands options for registered patients and their caregivers.”
Keith Ridley, Hawaii State Dept. of Health
The retail facility has completed laboratory testing requirements and passed the final onsite inspection.

It is the sixth license medical cannabis dispensary in Hawaii, the Garden Island reported.

“Having a medical cannabis dispensary open on Kauai expands options for registered patients and their caregivers, providing greater access to meet medical needs,” said Keith Ridley, who oversees the health department’s dispensary program, in a statement. “As dispensaries continue to open across the state, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the licensees to protect the safety of patients while ensuring an efficient and thorough inspection and certification process.”

The Green Aloha Ltd.’s store will sell indica, sativa and hybrid cannabis flower strains to registered patients and caregivers, the Star-Advertiser reported. As the company website notes, Green Aloha has partnered with Have a Heart, which currently has five retail cannabis locations in Washington state.

It expects to offer cannabidiol, or CBD, hash and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, hash, lozenges, tinctures, topicals and other cannabis products in the future.

Registered patients and their caregivers are allowed to buy up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of medical cannabis during a 15-consecutive day period and up to 8 ounces (227 grams) over a 30-consecutive day period.

They are required to store cannabis products in a sealed container and keep them from public view.

The other licensed dispensaries that have also been approved to open for business are Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC on Maui and Aloha Green, Noa Botanicals and Cure Oahu in Honolulu. Dispensaries on the Big Island are expected to open later this year.


Well-Known Member

First Hawaii Island medical cannabis licensee given the go ahead

The first medical cannabis production center on Hawai‘i Island has been issued a Notice to Proceed.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health says licensee Hawaiian Ethos, LLC may now acquire and cultivate cannabis, after passing state inspections. The company, the seventh dispensary licensee in the entire state to complete and operate a medical cannabis production center in the state, “met all requirements to begin growing cannabis and to manufacture cannabis products for medicinal purposes at their approved facility,” health officials say.

“All of the licensees have worked hard to meet state standards to create a quality industry in Hawai‘i that provides a safe product while ensuring patient and public health and safety,” said Keith Ridley, chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance, in a media release. “We will continue to work diligently with Hawaiian Ethos as they complete construction of their second production center and then seek approval for retail sales.”

“Hawaiian Ethos is committed to working with the State and County to comply with all laws and regulations to ensure the health, safety, and confidence of our workers, neighbors, and the entire community,” said Diana Hahn, director of communications at Hawaiian Ethos. “Our goal is to serve Hawai‘i Island residents by cultivating and producing a safe, consistent, and high-quality product that meets the medical needs of registered patients.”

According to the state:

To receive a Notice to Proceed from DOH, dispensary production centers must comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements of Chapter 329D, HRS and Chapter 11-850, HAR. This includes building a secure, enclosed indoor facility; operating a computer software tracking system that interfaces with the state’s system and submits current inventory data of all marijuana seeds, plants and manufactured products in the production center; and authorization from the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the Hawai‘i, State Department of Public Safety.

A total of eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses were issued in April 2016. Three dispensary licenses for the City and County of Honolulu were issued to Aloha Green Holdings, Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals, LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu. Two licenses for the County of Hawai‘i were issued to Hawaiian Ethos, LLC and Lau Ola, LLC. Two licenses for the County of Maui were issued to Maui Wellness Group, LLC and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC. One license for the County of Kaua‘i was issued to Green Aloha, Ltd. Each dispensary is licensed to operate two production centers and two retail sites for a total of 16 production centers and 16 retail dispensary locations statewide. Each production center may grow up to 5,000 cannabis plants.


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Hawaii decides again not to legalize marijuana

On the political spectrum, Hawaii is among the bluest of states. Democrats control all the levers of power at the state and federal levels, and voters back Democratic presidential candidates over Republicans by some of the widest margins in the U.S.

The state has committed to the Paris climate agreement that President Donald Trump rejected and was the first state to require people to be 21 to buy cigarettes. The tourist haven even banned certain types of sunscreen because they can harm coral reefs.

But when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use, the islands are out of step with liberal stalwarts such as California and Vermont that have already done so, and other left-leaning states such as New York and New Jersey that are racing toward joining them. On Friday, a legalization bill that made it farther in the legislative process than previous efforts died when lawmakers failed to consider it in time for a deadline.

Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English has introduced marijuana legalization bills for the past 15 years — but Hawaii has a track record of moving slowly on social issues. For example, other states moved far more quickly to sanction gay marriage and medically assisted suicide.

Half the Democrats in the state Senate co-sponsored English’s measure, helping spur speculation this would be the year legalization becomes reality.

But the effort fizzled as other leaders worried about contradicting federal law, which continues to classify marijuana as an illegal drug, and jeopardizing Hawaii’s existing medical marijuana program.

To move forward, the bill had to pass the Senate Health Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee by a Friday deadline so it could be considered by the full Senate. But the Health Committee did not schedule a meeting on Friday to consider any bills, effectively killing the marijuana legalization measure.

Rep. Della Au Belatti, the House majority leader, said before the bill died that she believes Hawaii will legalize adult use marijuana at some point. But she said lawmakers will vet the issue carefully.

“I also think that we have enough folks who are sitting around the table who are saying ‘Let’s do it right. Let’s not just rush into things and let’s do it right,’” she said.

Belatti said lawmakers must closely study the experiences of states that have legalized marijuana. She also wants to have abuse prevention, treatment and education programs set up before legalization. Hawaii also will have to make sure legalized marijuana doesn’t lead to more impaired driving, she said.

For now, Belatti said she’s just inclined toward decriminalizing marijuana, or reducing fines and criminal penalties for possession.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana laws. All except Vermont did it by ballot initiative, an option not available in Hawaii.

Sen. Karl Rhoads, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Hawaii residents are becoming more accepting of legalization now because it has happened elsewhere and “the world hasn’t come to an end.” There’s also recognition that the status quo isn’t working, he said, noting that juniors at a high school near his district tell him they can get pot whenever they want.

“It’s like Prohibition,” he said. “We’ve been trying to squish it out, squeeze it out, by making it illegal. And it’s just failed miserably.”

Rhoads’ committee passed an amended version of English’s bill last month, the first time a legalization measure has ever made it out of any committee.

Health Committee Chairwoman Sen. Roz Baker said she did not want to do anything that would threaten Hawaii’s nascent medical cannabis dispensary system. Dispensary sales began just two years ago.

Baker believes the federal government will leave medical marijuana alone but might take a more active approach to enforcing federal drug laws if Hawaii takes the next step. Democratic Gov. David Ige expressed similar concerns.

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura said it did not make sense to push the measure through without Ige’s support. San Buenaventura represents Puna, a mostly rural area on the Big Island long known for pot growing.

Brian Goldstein, the founder and CEO of the medical marijuana dispensary Noa Botanicals, said it is inevitable Hawaii will eventually allow adult use. He acknowledged it may take a while.

Hawaii’s Legislature approved medical marijuana in 2000 — four years after California became the first state with such a law — but it took island lawmakers another 15 years to set up a dispensary system.

Carl Bergquist, the executive director of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, said progress is being made even though the idea failed again this year.

“It’s a huge step … just to have that conversation started,” he said.


Well-Known Member
Hawaii unveils out-of-state medical cannabis program

Medical cannabis patients visiting the Aloha State will be able to purchase their medicine during their stay after Hawaii officials unveiled their out-of-state medical program on Tuesday.

Hawaii has one of the fastest growing medical programs with $12.6 million in sales last year and more than 1,500 pounds of medical cannabis sold in the state. Officials have said that shortages have so far not been an issue and it’s unlikely that they’ll see a shortage issue anytime soon. As such, the state officially opened their medical cannabis registration program to patients from outside of the state.

“It’s the no. 1 frequently asked questions for each dispensary,” said Michael Takano, CEO of Hawaiian medical cannabis dispensary Pono Life Sciences. “Each and every day, every dispensary gets inquiries from out-of-state patients. That want access to safe, legal products. How does it work? How do I get it?”

The announcement was made along with the unveiling of the state’s new electronic registration card for medical cannabis patients, making them one of the first states to have a fully electronic system for medical cannabis registration. The new system will contain all of the same information that is currently on the physical cards, but eliminates the delay for patients having to wait until their card arrives in the mail.

“If you registered for a card or lost your paper card, you would have to wait for a couple of weeks before the new one came in the mail,” said CEO of Big Island dispensary Big Island Grown, Dylan Shropshire. “And if you’re dependent on that medication to treat an illness, that’s not ideal.”

Shropshire, believes that the new system will not only benefit the patients on the island, but will be a huge boost for the economy in the state.

“We’ve had people from out of state come and try to buy from us and we’ve had to tell them that there’s nothing we can do,” he said. “We can’t even let them into the dispensary if they’re not registered.”

The program now allows for out-of-state patients to pre-registers online and once the registrations is approved, they will receive a 60-day medical card that can be used at any licensed retailer in Hawaii, as long as the patient is properly registered in their home state.

“The introduction of Hawaii’s electronic medical cannabis card is a major step in improving access to medical cannabis for qualified patients in Hawaii and out-of-state patients in the other 37 jurisdictions where medical cannabis is allowed,” said state Health Department Director Bruce Anderson in a release. “These patients may now legally obtain medical cannabis from any of the local licensed retail dispensaries while visiting the islands.”


Well-Known Member
Hawaii Marijuana Decriminalization Will Take Effect, Governor Says

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D), who has at times expressed serious concerns about marijuana policy reform, announced that he will allow a legislature-passed bill to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis to go into effect.

Ige didn’t include the decrim proposal in a list of legislation he intends to veto by Monday’s deadline.

Lawmakers sent the bill, which punishes possession of three grams of marijuana with a $130 fine instead of jail time, to the governor’s desk in April. As originally introduced, it covered greater amounts of marijuana in line with decriminalization policies in other states, but was watered down as it advanced through the legislative process.

Under current law, possessing cannabis is a petty misdemeanor that carries up to a $1,000 fine.

In a press conference to discuss his veto list, Ige called the marijuana legislation “a very tough call” and said went “go back and forth” on the issue before deciding to let the bill take effect.

The governor said he would have preferred if the decriminalization proposal included provisions aimed at “young people who we would want to get into substance abuse or other kinds of programs to help them deal with drug use.”

In the end, he said, he decided “it would be best not to veto that.”

Watch Ige discuss his decision not to veto marijuana decriminalization, about 23:35 into the video below:

Some legislative leaders have expressed interest in considering legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana.

Asked by a reporter about the possibility of broader cannabis reforms in Hawaii, Ige said that the state “can benefit from not being at the head of the table.”

“We continue to learn from other states about the problems that they see with recreational marijuana,” he said, echoing concerns he has about legalization and noting that he’s been discussing the possible reform with governors from some western states that have already enacted it. “We would be smart to engage and recognize what’s happening in other states, acknowledge the challenges and problems it has raised.”

Nikos Leverenz, board president for the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, told Marijuana Moment that Ige should be “commended” for not vetoing the bill.

“It’s also encouraging that he’s having ongoing conversations with other governors from states that have legalized adult-use cannabis,” he said. “Hawai’i can indeed learn a great deal from other states, including the enactment of social equity measures to ensure broad local participation by women, underrepresented minorities, and those harmed by the drug war.”

Also on Monday, Ige announced that he intends to veto a bill allowing medical cannabis patients to transport their medicine between islands.

“Marijuana, including medical cannabis, remains illegal under federal law. Both the airspace and certain areas of water fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government,” he wrote. “This bill may lead travelers, acting in reliance on this provision, to erroneously believe they are immune from federal prosecution.”

Another proposal on the governor’s veto list would establish a hemp licensing program.

“There are concerns that this bill creates a licensing structure that cannot be enforced, will not meet USDA requirements for an approved industrial hemp program, and creates practical problems in the enforcement of existing medical cannabis,” he reasoned.

Finally, Ige plans to veto a bill to scale back the use of asset forfeiture, which is often used against people accused of drug crimes, with the governor calling the practice “an effective and critical law enforcement tool that prevents the economic benefits of committing a crime from outweighing consequential criminal penalties and punishment.”


Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Hawaii - Marijuana Policy Project
Jul 1, 2019 · Beginning on January 11, 2020, this bill will make possession of three grams or less of marijuana punishable by a $130 fine. Under current law, possessing even a tiny amount of cannabis is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a possible life-altering criminal record.


Well-Known Member
This is asinine and is just the kind of abject stupidity that government seems to specialize in.

Hawaii hemp growers are having to destroy their plants because of high THC levels

The high rates of unusable plants pose a challenge to the nascent hemp industry in Hawaii where investors locally and from the mainland are hoping to capitalize on the state’s ideal growing conditions and the thriving market for hemp-derived cannabidiol products, known as CBDs.

Nearly all of the hot crops, 18, had to be destroyed, according to the state Department of Agriculture. State officials granted waivers to another four crops that tested just slightly above the limit, allowing the growers to use the hemp on their properties.

Legally, a cannabis plant is classified as hemp, rather than marijuana, if it contains 0.3 % THC (tetrahydrocannabinol ) or less. A plant has to have about 1 % THC or more to produce mind-altering effects, though in reality the levels of THC in recreational marijuana are much higher than that. One published earlier this year found the average THC concentration in marijuana was 17.1 % in 2017, about double what it was a decade prior.

Shelley Choy, hemp program coordinator for the state Department of Agriculture, stressed that the high numbers of hemp plants testing above the limit is part of the research process.

“It’s honestly expected and fairly routine in the sense that it is really hard to grow a plant that is 0.3 % or below, and it is also really difficult in Hawaii because we have a really unique climate and photoperiod as compared to other states, ” said Choy. “So, genetics which work in other states don’t necessarily work the same here, and it is all experimental.

“That is why right now we are running a research pilot program. We are trying to figure all this out, and we haven’t figured it out yet.”
The department has approved a variety of hemp seeds that can be grown in Hawaii and began allowing licensed growers to request approval for other types of interstate seeds earlier this year.

Part of the challenge, said Choy, is that most of the interest in hemp is in producing CBD products. Tests have shown that hemp strains ideal for their high CBD levels tend to also have higher THC levels, increasing the chances of them testing hot.

Hemp production was banned throughout the country in 1937 as part of the criminalization of marijuana, but restrictions began to ease with the 2014 Farm Bill allowing states to begin growing hemp as part of research pilot programs. Most states, including Hawaii, have set up such programs. Congress in 2018 amended the Farm Bill to remove hemp as a controlled substance and legalized hemp under certain restrictions.

The changes at the federal level have galvanized interest in hemp cultivation nationally, with investors particularly interested in Hawaii where the climate provides for ideal growing conditions.

“There is a ton of local interest, but the outside pressure is overwhelming, ” said Choy.

So far, the Department of Agriculture has granted 30 licenses to companies interested in growing hemp throughout the state.

Gail Baber and her husband are among the hemp growers who had a crop test too high for THC. Rather than destroy the 450 plants on their Hawaii island farm, they were allowed to use them for erosion control and compost, said Baber. She said the THC level was under 1 %.

The THC concentrations can increase in cannabis plants the longer they are in the ground, and Baber said she had the crop tested three weeks too late. Otherwise, she thinks the plants would have passed.

“This does speak to a much larger issue about the definition of hemp at 0.3 % THC, and where did that come from and does it make sense to be there. Should it be a little bit higher ?” said Baber.

While there is debate within the industry about whether the threshold should be higher, Choy noted that the state is restricted by the federal law.
Hemp can be used for a wide range of products including building materials, paper, fiber and insulation. But it also produces CBD, which marketers claim can help with a variety of ailments such as anxiety, muscle pain, sleeping problems and even acne. The market for CBD products is expected to grow from $618 million in 2018 to $22 billion in 2022, according to Brightfield Group, a cannabis and CBD market research firm.

For now that market remains closed off to Hawaii hemp growers. A bill that would have created a permanent commercial hemp program in Hawaii was vetoed in July by Gov. David Ige. The measure would have also allowed growers to remove leaf and flower material, which contains the CBD, from the growth site, which is currently prohibited in Hawaii.

In vetoing the bill, Ige said he was concerned, in part, because the bill restricted the Department of Agriculture’s ability to test hemp plants to once a year. Unlike other states, hemp growers in Hawaii can produce three to four crops a year.


Well-Known Member
"Residents of Hawaii with three grams or less of marijuana will now face a $130 fine as their sole punishment."​
Oh still my beating heart....3 grams. FFS. Whoopee, free at last. (sigh)

Hawaii’s Decriminilazation Of Marijuana Is In Effect

Hawaii is the 26th state to decriminalize marijuana, even if their policy on the drug is one of the most conservative ones in the country.
In 2019, Hawaii became the 26th state in the U.S. to decriminalize marijuana. On January 11th of this year, the law that prevented the incarceration of people over the possession of marijuana went into effect.

Residents of Hawaii with three grams or less of marijuana will now face a $130 fine as their sole punishment. Under this law, possession of larger amounts of the drug, distribution of it and repeat offenses could still lead to more severe punishments.

While three grams of marijuana isn’t much when compared to other states that have decriminalized marijuana or embraced similar policies, experts and lawmakers still believe that this is a necessary and welcome first step towards marijuana legalization.

“Unfortunately, three grams would be the smallest amount of any state that has decriminalized (or legalized) simple possession of marijuana,” said the Marijuana Policy Project in a statement. “Still, removing criminal penalties and possible jail time for possession of a small amount of cannabis is an improvement.”

David Ige, governor of Hawaii, debated heavily on the topic, calling it “a very tough call.” He’s always had a conservative perspective on marijuana legalization, vetoing bills that would legalize industrial hemp and that would allow for the inter-island transport of medical cannabis.

Ige’s opinions on the bill that would decrimiailize marijuana were mixed and don’t mean that Hawaii will legalize the drug anytime soon. Regarding the proposal, he said that he would have preferred is it included measures aimed at young people, preventing them from getting involved with substance abuse or helping them deal with their drug use.

“We continue to learn from other states about the problems they see with recreational marijuana, and most of the governors that I talk to that have recreational laws have acknowledged significant problems with those measures,” he said on a press conference in Honolulu last year.

Although Hawaii’s stance on marijuana is a slightly conservative one at the moment, decriminalizing the drug is still a win for advocates, one that might eliminate unnecessary arrests, the racial disparity that these trigger, and many of the harms caused by prohibition.

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