In a breakthrough for recreational cannabis use in Hawaii, Attorney General Anne Lopez has proposed a comprehensive plan designed to overcome hurdles that have blocked legalization for years.

Right now in Hawaii, the only way to buy cannabis legally is from a medical cannabis dispensary. The attorney general’s plan would encourage the development of a retail recreational cannabis industry while still protecting the medical dispensaries.

Key lawmakers, like House Judiciary Chair David, are impressed with the effort. “The attorney general has done a really good job pulling together all of the different input and providing a comprehensive bill,” Tarnas said.

In prior years, including in the last legislative session, the Attorney General’s office either opposed legalization or raised many doubts about public safety, threats to young people and conflicting laws. But lawmakers challenged Lopez to embrace the issue during her confirmation.