Medicinal marijuana is legal in Hawaii, but recreational use is not. Possession of small amounts of marijuana (3 g or less) has been decriminalized and is punishable by a violation of $130. Possession of amount greater than 3 g but less than 1 lb is a misdemeanor, while possession of more than 1 lb of marijuana is a felony. Possession of less than 0.125 oz of concentrate is a misdemeanor, while possession of that amount or more is a felony. Misdemeanor and felony possession charges carry the following punishments:
• More than 3 g; less than 1 oz: Maximum jail sentence of 30 days and $1,000 fine.
• 1 oz – 1 lb: Maximum period of incarceration of 1 year and up to a $2,000 fine.
• 1 lb or more: Maximum period of incarceration of 5 years and up to a $10,000 fine.
• 0.125-1 oz: Maximum period of incarceration of 10 years and up to a $25,000 fine.
• 1 oz or more: Maximum period of incarceration of 20 years and up to a $50,000 fine.
Cultivation of more than 25 cannabis plants or any number of plants on property that is not your own is also a felony. Punishment may include:
• 25-49 plants on your property: A maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
• 50-99 pants on your property: A maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000.
• 100 plants or more on your property: A maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $50,000.
• 24 or fewer plants not on your property: A maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000.
• 25 or more plants not on your property: A maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $50,000.
Patients who are enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program can possess up to 4 oz of usable marijuana at one time. Additionally, home cultivation is allowed for patients who have registered. They may grow up to 7 plants—whether mature or immature—at one time.
Hawaii-licensed physicians (MDs and DOs) and APRNs who are allowed to prescribe controlled substances are allowed to certify, in writing, that it is their professional opinion that a patient with whom they have a doctor-patient relationship has a debilitating illness and their use of medical cannabis outweighs any health risks associated with the use of the drug. Qualifying debilitating illnesses include:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Chronic pain
• Crohn’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Persistent muscle spasms
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Rheumatoid arthritis
Out-of-state patients who are visiting Hawaii may apply for two 60-day permits per calendar year, which will allow them access to the state’s dispensaries. Eligible patients must have a valid card from their home state and a valid government-issued means of identification. The portal to apply for the permit can be found here: https://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabisregistry/travel/.
For more information about the state’s program or the registration process for in-state patients, please see the site for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program on the Hawaii Department of Health’s website: https://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabisregistry/providers/.