Is Weed Legal in Hawaii?

Have you ever asked, is weed legal in Hawaii? Being one of the most popular places on the planet, it’s just right to have an answer to it. So, what we did was gathered all relevant information about the legalization of marijuana in Hawaii to help you understand everything about it further. The more you know, the better, right?

Before we dive right in, let us first look at some of the important details about marijuana and Hawaii, as well as their connection with each other.

Cannabis in Hawaii


As thrilling as it is, Hawaii’s acceptance journey of cannabis has been through many ups and downs, like other states. But the reason why a lot of people are actually confused about it is because of the fact that Hawaii’s permanent laws and regulations remain intertwined.

In 2000, Ben Cayetano, then-Hawaiian Governor signed Act 228 into law. Act 228 is the initiative that allowed medical marijuana cardholders to either grow their own cannabis or appoint a caretaker to do so.

Therefore, if you are a resident of Hawaii and you have a legal marijuana card, you’ll have the ability to grow and cultivate your own weed under certain circumstances.

Due to this effort, Hawaii became the very 1st state to legalize medical cannabis in an act of legislature rather than the ballot initiative process. On the other end of the rope, they’re the 8th state to legalize medical or medicinal cannabis.

NOTE: The signing of the law was not the same one as establishing dispensaries or licensed marketplaces for cannabis, yet.

Decriminalization in Hawaii

What does decriminalization even mean in the first place? Just because you see “decriminalization,” mean that you’re already allowed to do whatever you want.

In a typical sense, decriminalization means no jail time, arrest, or criminal record for first-time offenders. Mostly, these offenses are treated and seen as minor offenses instead of a heavy one.

So, in Hawaii, if you are caught with a certain amount of marijuana, you’ll be subject to question and jurisdiction, but if that is not within the threshold for misdemeanor or felony, you’re good.

Is Weed Legal In Hawaii?

The question is still there – is cannabis legal in Hawaii? Since it’s decriminalized, would people be able to purchase, possess, or cultivate marijuana on their own? The short and simple answer to that is no, it remains illicit or illegal in Hawaii; and no, that’s not how it works.

Decriminalization just means that first-time offenders have the chance to change their ways as they wouldn’t have jail time nor would they be arrested. But, that still doesn’t mean that they can purchase freely.

The only legal instance in the Aloha State is if you are actually a medical marijuana patient. Let’s dive deeper into that so you get a better grasp and understanding of what that entirely means.

Medical Marijuana in Hawaii

We now know that recreational cannabis is a no-no in the state, but what about medical? As most of us would know, to be able to get approved for medical marijuana, you’ll need to have a medical marijuana card.

This card will be what many consider as a pass to buy or purchase, carry or possess, and in Hawaii’s laws, grow and cultivate marijuana inside your property.

So, here’s the process of how you can get a medical marijuana card in Hawaii:

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Hawaii

Prior to going into further detail about the steps, let us first unravel the qualifying conditions to be approved of a medical marijuana card in the Aloha State:

  • AIDS and/or HIV
  • Cancer
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
  • Epilepsy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis

NOTE: Other conditions that are causing severe nausea, seizures, severe and intractable pain, cachexia, or severe muscle spasms are qualified, too.

Hawaii’s Health Department has the ability to approve or disprove conditions, so, be sure to bring it up to them first!

Now – onto the steps!

  • Step #1: Find and Schedule an Appointment with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or a Registered Physician
  • Step #2: Crete an Online Account
  • Step #3: Fill the Application Form Out and Provide the Needed Documents:
  • State ID or Valid Driver’s License or Valid Passport
  • Step #4: Pay the Application Fee and Submit Your Online Application
  • Step #5: Wait For the Physician or the APRN to Certify Your Condition and Application

That’s it! That’s how you can apply for a Hawaiian medical marijuana card. Should you have any other questions, you can direct it to the Hawaiian Health Department by accessing this link

Hawaiian Penalties and Fines

Marijuana is decriminalized in the state, yes, but, that does not mean people who disobey wouldn’t be subject to fines. Here are the fines and penalties for each unique occasion on possessing, selling or distributing, as well as cultivating marijuana.

Possession of Cannabis

You might think that the possession of marijuana in Hawaii is neither scary nor serious, but, in actuality, it is. There are certain restrictions to the carrying or possessing of marijuana in the state. And, to give you more and deeper explanation about it, here’s a table!

Personal Use

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyIncarcerationFine
3 grams or lessViolationNone$ 130
More than 3 grams – less than 1 ozMisdemeanor30 days or 1 full month$ 1,000
1 oz – 1 lbMisdemeanor1 year$ 2,000
1 lb or moreFelony5 years$ 10,000

Commercial Intent

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyIncarcerationFine
1 lb to 2 lbsFelony5 years$ 10,000
2 lbs but less than 25 lbsFelony10 years$ 25,000
25+ lbsFelony20 years$ 50,000
Within 750 feet of school grounds or a park, or on or within 10 feet of a parked school vehicleFelony5 years$ 10,000

Sale or Delivery of Cannabis

The sale, delivery, or gifting of cannabis is also seen as an unlawful act. With proper guidance with all of this, you’ll be able to get yourself out of trouble even before you start committing it.

Here’s a table that outlines the information about the penalties, imprisonment, and fines you will be subjected to:

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyIncarcerationFine
Less than 1 ozMisdemeanor1 year$ 2,000
1 oz to 1 lbFelony5 years$ 10,000
1 lbs but less than 5 lbsFelony10 years$ 25,000
5+ lbsFelony20 years$ 50,000
Within 750 feet of school grounds or a park, or on or within 10 feet of a parked school vehicleFelony5 years$ 10,000

Cultivation of Cannabis

Last but most definitely not least is cultivation. Yes, it has been recognized as legal for medical marijuana users and very specific set of patients. If you are not licensed or qualified to do it, best thing to do is sit back and analyze the table:

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyIncarcerationFine
25 plants to 50 plantsFelony5 years$ 10,000
50 plants but less than 100 plantsFelony10 years$ 25,000
100 plants or moreFelony20 years$ 50,000
Less than 25 plants on another individual’s propertyFelony10 years$ 25,000
25 plants or more on another’s propertyFelony20 years$ 50,000

In case you’re left with a few questions in the back of your mind, don’t worry – you don’t have to go someplace else! We’ve garnered and analyzed a few of the most frequently asked questions about the legalities of marijuana in the state of Hawaii.

Can You Carry Weed to Hawaii?

No, you cannot. Under the federal law and under the provision of Hawaii, the possession, distribution, and delivery of marijuana in the state is illegal. Therefore, travel by any means is considered part of the jurisdiction, making it still illegal.

What Drugs Are Legal in Hawaii?

No drugs are legal in the state of Hawaii. Don’t confuse yourself in understanding decriminalization from legalization – marijuana in Hawaii is decriminalized, but it still remains illegal. So, you can’t just walk around anywhere in the state with it.

The Bottom Line

So, is weed legal in Hawaii? Would you be able to find a particular store in the state that’s actually catering to the medical or recreational needs that you have? These two (2) questions are among the primary questions people ask whenever they plan on visiting or moving – so, hopefully, we were able to answer these for you!

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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