hawaii marijuana legalization 2020

Hawaii Marijuana Laws

Updated August 2019

The easy-going state of Hawaii has yet to legalize recreational marijuana, but it was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana legal in 2000. The state has consistently revised their medical marijuana policies and even decriminalized simple possession, but lawmakers have yet to come close to enacting constructive recreational marijuana policy. Learn more about Hawaii marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in Hawaii

Is marijuana legal in Hawaii? While recreational marijuana remains illegal in Hawaii, in July 2019 state lawmakers did pass legislation to decriminalize the substance. The law removes the possibility of jail time as a penalty for up to three grams of marijuana, and instead imposes a $130 fine. The law takes effect Saturday, January 11, 2020.

Possession of more than three grams up to 1 pound of recreational marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor, while possession of any amount greater than 1 pound is considered a felony. The sale of amounts greater than 1 ounce are penalized as a felony with prison time ranging from 5 years to 20 years and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Recreational marijuana legislation has failed to gain serious traction in Hawaii’s legislature.

Medical Marijuana in Hawaii

Senate Bill 862, signed into law by Gov. Ben Cayetano in 2000, legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Provided a patient has a written certification from a physician, the use and possession of up to 4 ounces of usable marijuana and no more than 7 marijuana plants (up to 3 mature marijuana plants, 4 immature marijuana plants) is legal under the law.

Qualifying patients are allowed to have a primary caregiver, who is a person 18 years of age or older that is responsible for managing the well being of the qualifying patient with respect to medical marijuana.

The following conditions have been approved conditions for medical marijuana possession:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures (including Epilepsy)
  • Severe and Chronic Pain
  • Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Severe Nausea

Patients should always keep their medical marijuana certification on hand to avoid any trouble with the law.

Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Hawaii

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

Cultivation of Cannabis in Hawaii

The cultivation of cannabis for medical or recreational use is illegal and chargeable as a felony with prison terms ranging from five to 20 years with a maximum fine of $50,000.

Gov. David Ige did sign into law Senate Bill 2659 in July 2016 to establish an industrial hemp pilot program. Through the Department of Agriculture, growers can cultivate industrial hemp and distribute hemp speed in Hawaii for purposes of agricultural or academic research.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.



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With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on Hawaii marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in HI!



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?

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?

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


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

View the marijuana laws & regulations for Hawaii.