Hawaii

Is weed legal in Hawaii?

Yes and no. Medical marijuana is legal for patients with a qualifying condition who have state-issued medical marijuana cards and for patients from other states with valid medical marijuana cards from their home jurisdiction. Cannabis for adult-use, or recreational, purposes remains illegal in Hawaii. 

Hawaii has decriminalized possession of 3 grams of cannabis, making it punishable by a fine of $130.

Legislation history

In 2000, Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical marijuana via legislation when SB 862 became Act 228. The law amended Chapter 329 of Hawaii's Revised Statutes and set limits for cultivation, listed qualifying conditions, and offered protection against prosecution for patients, caregivers, and recommending physicians. It also called for the creation of a registry of patients and caregivers and put the Department of Public Safety in charge of the program. 

Subsequent legislation moved oversight to the Department of Health (DOH), expanded possession limits, added qualifying conditions and a means of petitioning for more, and set up dispensary licensing. Though medical cannabis was legalized in 2000, the state didn't license any dispensaries until 2018.  

In 2019, Hawaii decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana when it passed HB 1383. A fine of $130 is the only penalty for possessing 3 grams of cannabis or less. Possessing more than that, up to an ounce, carries a penalty of 30 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. 

HB 1383 also allowed for prisoners convicted of nonviolent drug charges to petition for release to a drug-treatment program and the expungement of the records of those who complete the program. These changes only applied to prisoners convicted of possessing 3 grams or less.      

Where is it safe to purchase weed in Hawaii?

Patients can purchase medical cannabis from state-regulated dispensaries on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii. Patients and caregivers may not purchase more than 4 ounces (113 grams) of cannabis within a period of 15 consecutive days, or no more than 8 ounces (227 grams) within a period of 30 consecutive days. Patients or caregivers transporting cannabis must keep it in a sealed container out of view. Transporting cannabis between islands is illegal. 

Finding licensed dispensaries in Hawaii

Medical marijuana cardholders can find licensed dispensaries in Hawaii and search by island, including Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii. Many dispensaries in Hawaii offer online ordering in addition to storefront sales. Delivery is not allowed. 

Where is it safe to consume cannabis?

Consumption is only allowed in private. Smoking and vaping medical cannabis is allowed in private areas that aren't designated a smoke-free location.  

Possessing cannabis

Registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers are permitted up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of usable cannabis between them.

Is home cultivation allowed in Hawaii?

Registered patients and caregivers can cultivate up to 10 plants if they have registered their intent to grow and provided the cultivation location to the DOH. Plants may only be grown at the home of the patient or caregiver or another site controlled by one of them. Plants must all be in one location and tagged with the patient's 329 card number and expiration date.   

After Dec. 31, 2023, caregivers will not be allowed to cultivate cannabis for any qualifying patient, except for minors, adults lacking capacity, or on islands that do not have a dispensary.

Medical marijuana in Hawaii

Patients with a qualifying condition can register with the Medical Cannabis Registry Program and receive a Hawaii 329 card, named for Statute 329, which was revised by the passage of Act 288. The card allows patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis from a dispensary or grow it themselves, and to possess, transport, and consume cannabis. While Hawaii offers reciprocity for out-of-state patients, frequent visitors may want to apply for a Hawaii 329 card since state residency is not required. Out-of-state patients (OSPs) must see a physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in Hawaii to qualify.

Beginning in 2024, home cultivation will be illegal unless the patient lives on an island without a dispensary or is a minor or adult unable to grow for themselves. Transporting cannabis between islands is prohibited. 

Patients under the age of 18 or who are unable to procure cannabis on their own can designate a caregiver. Caregivers must be at least 18 years old and residents of Hawaii. 

Qualifying conditions

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Patients or physicians can petition the DOH to add new conditions. 

Application process

For patients:

  1. See a doctor or APRN for certification
  2. Register for an online account 
  3. Provide government-issued ID to prove residency and identity
  4. Designate a caregiver, if applicable, and whether the caregiver will also cultivate
  5. Submit application online
  6. Pay $38.50 for a one-year card, $77 for two years (only allowed for certain qualifying conditions)
  7. Print or save the card once approved

For caregivers:

Patients name caregivers, if needed, on their registry application. The patient's application fee also covers the caregiver. 

The caregiver must:

  1. Provide a copy of their valid driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport
  2. Sign the patient's application form

Reciprocity

Hawaii allows visitors to the Aloha State with medical marijuana cards or caregiver privileges from other states to participate in the Hawaii Medical Marijuana Program as long as the patient's medical condition is also on Hawaii's list of qualifying conditions. 

Patients need to register and show a valid government-issued medical marijuana card and state ID or driver's license from their home state to obtain a Hawaii 329 Registration card. Their registration will be active for no more than 60 days and no more than two 60-day periods in a calendar year.  

Out-of-state patients may apply 60 days prior to their requested start date. A non-refundable application fee of $49.50 applies. Electronic access to the Hawaii 329 Registration card will be provided upon approval. Patients who visit more than twice a year can apply for an in-state card. The OSP process does not allow for caregivers for adults, only minors. 

Lab testing

All cannabis products must be tested for the following:

  • active ingredients
  • cannabinoid profile (including THC)
  • heavy metals
  • pesticides
  • solvents
  • moisture content
  • microbial contaminants
  • intestinal bacteria and pathogens
  • dangerous molds that can cause infection and disease
  • toxins produced by molds

Frequently asked questions

When will recreational weed be legal in Hawaii?

While we can't predict the future, we can say that in 2019 Hawaii's Senate considered SB 686 that would legalize possession of up to 0.5 ounces (14 grams) for personal, recreational use by adults 21 and older. The bill went through the judiciary committee, was amended, and sent to the ways and means committee in the 2020 legislative session. So, it's a work in progress. 

Why hasn't Hawaii legalized weed?

The short answer: a bill hasn't passed yet. The longer answer is that efforts are ongoing. As of October 2020, SB 686 is making its way through the Senate. If it passes there and moves on to the House and the House passes it, cannabis may be legalized for recreational use in Hawaii. 

What are Hawaii 329 cards and why are they called that?

Hawaii's 329 cards take their name from the statute in the state's criminal code that was revised when SB 862 became law.

This page was last updated October 22, 2020. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on February 1, 2021.