The Hawaii Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would make the state the 22nd in the nation to legalize recreational cannabis. The measure, SB 669, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 22-3 and now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
“For years, advocates have been working to pass legislation to sensibly legalize cannabis in Hawaii,” DeVaughn Ward, senior legislative counsel at Marijuana Policy Project and a resident of Hawaii, said in a statement from the cannabis policy reform group on Tuesday. “Now that this bill has advanced out of the Senate, Hawaii is one step closer to becoming the next state to end cannabis prohibition.”
If passed, SB 669 would legalize the possession, transfer, and transportation of up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of cannabis by adults aged 21 and older. The legislation also legalizes the home cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, including not more than three mature, flowering plants. The bill also has provisions allowing for the expungement of some cannabis-related convictions and reduces the penalties for unlicensed cannabis cultivation and sales.
The legislation also creates a Hawaii Cannabis Authority to oversee the regulation of recreational cannabis cultivation, processing, and sales and sets a 10% on retail sales of adult-use cannabis. The bill requires the state’s existing medical cannabis license holders to submit a plan to preserve access to cannabis for patients before converting to a dual license permitting the businesses to sell adult-use cannabis.
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