Cannabis in Hawaii

Cannabis in Hawaii is illegal for recreational use. Possession is permitted only for medical use and otherwise remains a criminal infraction.

A popular Hawaiian language term for cannabis is pakalolo (crazy tobacco),[1] and the term appears in the Hawaiian newspaper Ka Nonanona as early as 1842.[2] Hawaii is famous for its cannabis, with many strains developed locally.[3]

Medical cannabis (2000)

In 2000, Hawaiian governor Ben Cayetano signed into law Act 228, allowing medical marijuana cardholders to grow their own cannabis or appoint a caretaker to do so. However, the law did not establish any legal market or dispensaries.

To address legal acquisition of cannabis, in 2016 Senate Bill 321 established a dispensary system, allowing eight dispensaries in the state, designated by island.[4]


  1. Thomas Kemper Hitch; Robert M. Kamins (1992). Islands in Transition: The Past, Present, and Future of Haiwaii's Economy. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 225–. ISBN 978-0-8248-1498-4.
  2. February 19, 2016 · By Zuri Aki Mahealani Traub (2016-02-19). "Pakalolo's Long History, Regulated Future In Hawaii - Civil Beat News". Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  3. Erin Phelps; Frank F. Furstenberg Jr.; Anne Colby (30 May 2002). Looking at Lives: American Longitudinal Studies of the Twentieth Century. Russell Sage Foundation. pp. 299–. ISBN 978-1-61044-450-7.
  4. Jen Russo (2015-07-09). "What you need to know about Hawaii's New Medical Marijuana Law". Maui Time. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
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