A new report by the Hawai’i Cannabis Industry Association (HICIA) found that licensing cannabis businesses to cultivate and sell legalized cannabis could create thousands of jobs and generate tens of millions in tax revenue.

The 2023 Adult Use Market and Tax Projection Report reports that “3,375 new direct cannabis jobs would be created through the legalization of adult-use cannabis which does not take into account the indirect or ancillary business jobs that will also be created.” Additionally, the report predicts that the sales of legal cannabis could raise as much as $82 million in annual tax revenue.

State Legalization Efforts

Currently there are several active bills in the Hawaii legislature that address the legalization issue:

While the state of Hawaii has not yet legalized the recreational use of cannabis, it did decriminalize possession of three grams or less of the substance and medical cannabis was legalized in 2000.

Support From the Top

The newly-elected Governor, Democrat Josh Green, has also pledged that he would sign legalization legislation should it cross his desk. During an election season debate debate, Green stated, “I think that people already have moved past that culturally as a concern. But here’s what I would do. First of all, if marijuana is legalized, it should be very carefully monitored, and only done like cigarettes, or I’ve been very careful to regulate tobacco over the years. We should take the $30 to $40 million of taxes we would get from that and invest in the in the development and recreation of our mental healthcare system for the good of all.”

Hopefully, Governor Green will have a chance to sign that legislation this session.

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