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Hawaii’s Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Clears Another Hurdle, But Support Is Waning

Hawaii’s cannabis legalization bill has narrowly progressed to its final committee vote after lawmakers voted 25-23 in favour of the bill on Friday.

The heated debate on the House floor last week has seen the SB 3335 bill make it the furthest any such bill has made it in the state, despite numerous attempts to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Now the bill will move to its final vote in the House Finance Committee, though given that some members who spoke out against the legislation on Friday are also part of the Finance Committee, it’s passage is far from guaranteed.

If the Finance Committee approves the bill, it will go back to the full house for a final vote.

This bill would legalize the sale and possession of adult-use cannabis for people aged 21 and over by 1 January, 2026.

If passed, adults would be legally allowed to possess 1 ounce of cannabis flower and up to 5 grams of concentrate, while enabling Hawaiians to grow six plants in their homes.

Despite continuing to progress through various committees in recent weeks, it has split lawmakers, and support appears to be thinning.

Democratic Representative Cedric Gates said at the committee hearing: “I think that this bill is taking the best practices across the nation amongst the other 24 states that have already passed a legalization bill to try to do something to address the issues that we currently face.

“Whether it’s people selling CBD products or hemp-derived products in our communities with no regulation or going after individuals or entities selling to our youth.”

Those in opposition, however, including former Republican Governor Linda Lingle, argue that legalization would damage the economy by putting off Japanese tourists, ‘cause fatal car crashes’ and ‘increase black market sales of the drug’.

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