Two cannabis-related bills receive support from Senate committees
Back in 2019, legislators in the state of Hawaii passed a sort of decriminalization bill for possession of cannabis, changing the legal penalties to a $130 fine. The problem was, the maximum amount you could be caught with to qualify was three grams of marijuana, which isn’t very much. Now, Hawaiian lawmakers are today reconsidering this action in two separate bills. One bill, SB758, would increase the amount from three grams to one ounce, or 28 grams. The second bill, SB767, advocates the legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis in the state of Hawaii.
SB758 was passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, 5-0. However, SB767, which would legalize marijuana and allow licensed businesses to cultivate, produce and sell cannabis products, met a little resistance by the panel’s lone Republican, Kurt Fevella. This one will now move to the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means Committee, while the decriminalization bill will have to be considered by the Judiciary Committee. SB767 also contains provisions under which adults could grow up to three mature plants for personal use, and advocates are very optimistic that the measure to further decriminalize possession of cannabis will eventually pass and become law.
However, since Hawaii Governor David Ige has been strongly opposed to the legalization of cannabis in the past, the road ahead may remain impassable for the time being. Those possessing a medical marijuana card are allowed to hold up to four ounces of cannabis at a time. Lawmakers are just getting around to considering what effect the tax revenue will have on the state’s coffers and how said revenue should be spent on social equity reforms within the state.