Hawaii Senate Committee Passes Bill That Could Legalize Recreational Cannabis

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Senate Bill 3335 was passed by the Hawaiian Senate Health and Human Services and Judiciary Joint Committee which could legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

On February 13, 2024, Senate Bill 3335 passed by the Health and Human Services and Judiciary Committee in the Hawaiian Senate (1,2). It marks the first step to recreational cannabis becoming legalized in the approval process (3). Prior to the passing of the legislation, a public hearing took place, where lawmakers sat through several testimonies spanning from state agencies, cannabis users, and cannabis dispensaries (1,3). The measure passed in a 3-1 vote. Only one person voted “no” to the bill and that was Hawaiian Senator, Brandon Elefante (3). Other senators, such as, Vice Chair Henry Aquino and Senator Maile Shimabukuro did express “reservations” toward the bill but it was approved by the Health and Human Services and Judiciary Committee (1,3).

With Senate Bill 3335 clearing its first hurdle, if it officially is able to be enacted into law, the legislation would create the Hawaiʻi Cannabis Authority and Cannabis Control Board within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs which would regulate the cannabis plant. The measure also establishes the Cannabis Control Implementation Advisory Committee and if fully enacted, the bill would begin on January 1, 2026, and legalize adult-use cannabis (2).


“The responsible thing to do to protect the community and kids is to regulate and double down,” Jaclyn Moore Big Island Grown CEO, commented (1).

The new legislation would form taxes specifically for recreational cannabis.

“At its core, this measure seeks to regulate Hawai‘i’s cannabis industry, establish safeguards for the community, and establish a new tax on adult-use sales of cannabis to generate revenue for the state,” Moore explained in their written testimony (1). “As we know, cannabis use has been prevalent in Hawai‘i for decades but it has been dominated by unregulated/illicit sales. For too long, this issue has been ignored.”

Before being enacted into law and heading to the governor’s desk to be signed, Senate Bill 3335 will need to pass through two additional senate committees but is expected to pass in the full Senate (3).


  1. DeMasters, T. Bill That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana Passes Senate Committee with Reservations (accessed Feb 14, 2024).
  2. SB 3335 (accessed Feb 16, 2024).
  3. Huff, D. Recreational Marijuana Bill Passes First Legislative Hurdle, But Supporters Face Long Road Ahead (accessed Feb 16, 2024).