Hawaii's beautiful, natural landscape and laid-back vibe seem like a perfect pairing with a bit of herb. So you might be surprised to learn that everything does not go when it comes to smoking weed in the Aloha State.
Since recreational marijuana use in Hawaii is not allowed, there are some things you should be aware of before you attempt to hula your way through the state with only your homemade pineapple bong in tow.
Where and How to Buy
Though Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensary licensing system was signed into law by the Democratic Gov. David Ige in 2015, it's been a slow-go for establishing dispensaries. But there are a few now open and searchable through Weedmaps.
The state's medical marijuana program is open to patients with qualifying conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or a chronic or debilitating condition resulting in cachexia (wasting syndrome), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seizures, severe nausea, severe pain, or severe muscle spasms.
People can apply through the Medical Marijuana Registry and once registered, can purchase medical cannabis at a state-regulated dispensary. For those traveling into Hawaii, there have been some changes to the law that are slated to take effect in 2019. Medical marijuana cardholders will be able to apply for a temporary card for use while visiting in the state.
How to Consume
Once dispensaries are in full swing, registered medical marijuana patients can use, consume and smoke cannabis flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Between registered patients and registered caregivers, they are allowed up to 4 ounces, or 113 grams, of cannabis and up to 10 plants for cultivation.
What Isn't Allowed
Recreational marijuana use and sales in Hawaii are illegal. Using medical marijuana while in a moving car or in public places are prohibited. Other locations where its use is prohibited are: in the workplace, school grounds, public parks, beaches, and recreation centers. Each registered patient is allowed only one grow site.
As a medical marijuana patient, you will want to know everything you can about how cannabis can help your particular condition and what you can expect overall. Ask as many questions as possible from your health care provider and dispensary budtender. There are no dumb questions. If this is your first time, you will want to start very slowly, especially when it comes to edibles. You can always eat a little more if you don't feel anything after an hour or two — but once you've bitten into a giant brownie, there's no going back and you'll just have to ride it out.
Cannabis Legalization in Hawaii
Ige signed Act 242 into law in 2015, establishing Hawaii's licensing system for medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program, created by Act 241, was established in the same year. Hawaii's lawmakers passed a reciprocity law in 2017 that went into effect February 2018, which allows out-of-state visitors with medical marijuana recommendations or caregiver privileges from other states to participate in the Hawaii Medical Marijuana Program. Patients and caregivers need to register in advance to enjoy reciprocity benefits during their visit to the Aloha State.