Hawaii political leaders looking into merits of recreational cannabis sales

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Hawaii’s ongoing debate to authorize recreational cannabis sales took another step forward with the release of a new state report.

The state tax department projects the legalization of adult-use marijuana would generate $50 million in tax revenues, Honolulu-based media outlet Hawaii News Now reported.

The report was sent to the Dual Use of Cannabis Task Force, which was created by Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature to study the potential impacts of adult-use sales.

Hawaii’s medical cannabis industry, which launched in 2017, generated $2.5 million in taxes in the last fiscal year, according to the report.

That tax revenue came on reported sales of $50 million in 2021.

MMJ sales in Hawaii could grow to as much as $63 million this year and $74 million in 2023, according to the 2022 MJBiz Factbook.

Hawaii’s medical marijuana program has 33,725 patients, according to government data.

Nearly half those patients reside in Oahu, the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands and home to Honolulu, the state capital.

The tax department report comes as Hawaii’s Legislature weighs cannabis-related proposals that include the use, possession, cultivation and retail sale of small amounts of adult-use marijuana as well as providing loans and grants to social equity applicants, according to NORML.