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Hawaii Attorney General Proposes Comprehensive Plan for Recreational Marijuana Legalization, Balancing Industry Growth, Social Equity, and Public Health

MRBHawaii Attorney General Proposes Comprehensive Plan for Recreational Marijuana Legalization, Balancing Industry Growth, Social Equity, and Public Health

In a significant move for recreational marijuana use in Hawaii, Attorney General Anne Lopez has proposed a comprehensive plan aimed at overcoming obstacles that have hindered legalization efforts. Currently, the only legal way to purchase marijuana in Hawaii is from a medical cannabis dispensary. The proposed plan encourages the development of a retail recreational marijuana industry while safeguarding existing medical dispensaries. It includes a 10% tax surcharge on top of the 4.25% excise tax on adult-use marijuana, offers illegal growers a path to join the legal industry, strengthens law enforcement efforts, and enhances health education programs to protect young people. The plan mirrors the Massachusetts model, incorporating a social equity program to support illegal growers in transitioning to a legal retail model. The proposal also establishes the Hawaii Cannabis Authority to regulate businesses and introduces various programs for product testing, enforcement, social equity, and health education. Medical cannabis products would be exempt from the 10% tax, and dispensaries would likely be the first to sell recreational marijuana, given their existing state licensing. Sales under the plan are proposed to begin 18 months after its enactment into law. Lawmakers hope to approve the legislation in the upcoming session starting in January.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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