Hawaii Cannabis Tax Proposal Plugs Budget Shortfalls

1.7 min readPublished On: January 26th, 2021By

HONOLULU – 15 states in the United States have already legalized cannabis for recreational use. With Hawaiian tourism revenues vanishing with COVID,  it’s no surprise some Hawaii lawmakers are considering legalizing recreational cannabis. Despite years of false dawns, some of the state’s top house leaders have signed on this year.

The bill creates rules for increased personal possession and a create a process for cultivators to grow and sell cannabis taxed by the state. State house representative Jeanne Kapela and other lawmakers spoke to KITV4 on Friday, about the plan which they said could generate at least $150 million in revenue for the state and plug the gaps in tourism revenues caused by COVID.

“This bill is a bill that will legalize marijuana and tax it that way we can utilize that revenue for essential services which right now in the middle of this budget shortfall are being cut. We should not be furloughing teachers, we should be generating revenue and utilizing this opportunity to allow people to do something that they’ve already been doing and making sure we are no longer going to disproportionately harm the working poor or Native Hawaiian,” Kapela said.

The bill passed first reading this week and is waiting for a potential hearing. Interestingly, Governor David Ige is on record saying he does not support the recreational cannabis.

Currently, only people with a Department of Health permit can purchase cannabis for medicinal use. At the end of 2020, there were more than 30,000 people in Hawaii with a medical marijuana card.

Aloha Green Apothecary is on Oahu. Their spokesperson Ty Cheng says they see up to 400 people with medicinal cards per day. If it’s legalized, he believes the dispensary will see three times more local clients.

“I really like what the bills have. I think it’s super important we create a system where there’s social justice for people who’ve been affected negatively by cannabis and the war on drugs here in Hawaii and I think it’s important to get more people in the industry,” Cheng said to KITV7.

Click here to read the full House Bill 7.

About the Author: News Team

Newsteam at Highly Capitalized are some of the most experienced writers in cannabis and psychedelics business & finance. We cover capital markets, finance, branding, marketing and everything important in between. Most of all, we follow the money.

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