### UPDATE March 8, 2016 ###

“Pot Tourism” is a real travel industry niche, and Hawaii laws have yet to catch up with the statistically verifiable benefits of allowing marijuana to be available to responsible, non-medical proponents. In Colorado, for example, tax revenue from the legal sale of marijuana far exceeds that of the revenue generated by the tax on alcohol.

But Hawaii’s legislature isn’t entirely behind the times regarding marijuana use. Remember, Hawaii is among the first US states to legalize the use of medical marijuana. It’s never been easy for patients, as there are no legal dispensaries here. And legal, recreational use of marijuana in Hawaii doesn’t seem likely any time soon. People have been jailed over Hawaii’s medical marijuana laws.

There are, however, close to 60 bills relating to medical marijuana use in Hawaii that have been submitted to the 2016 Hawaii legislature. Many of these bills involve bureaucratic measures that would loosen regulations on the use of greenhouse, shade house, and open air growing practices, and other more esoteric legal aspects of the cultivation and sale of pot in the Aloha State. Other bills would decriminalize the transport of delivery devices such as pipes and other vessels for medical marijuana patients in Hawaii. Still other bills are related to the production and regulation of industrial hemp. Many of these bills have been carried over from the 2015 legislative session.

Simply put, we’re still trying to figure it out.

In 2015, the Hawaii legislature passed a bill that allows for a limited number of licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. There has been quite a stir here in Hawaii about those that have applied for those licenses, which amounts to 66 business entities. Actor Woody Harrelson has been noted in national and international media as among them. Fewer than 20 will be granted.

There are no individuals actually named in the official Department of Health list of applicants other than the head of the applying entities. And there won’t be, by statute. But there is a handful of prominent Hawaii business figures associated with those enterprises that have applied for a medical marijuana dispensary license. There’s money in it, so it seems. Legitimate corporations are betting on it in stakes in the multi-millions of dollars. The first marijuana dispensary could conceivably open, by law, in July of this year.

You still can't just light up in Hawaii.

Considering the success of recreational marijuana use legislation in US states like Colorado and Washington and Oregon, and the remarkable, confirmed increase in tax revenue and decrease in certain drug-related hospital admissions, it’s clear that Hawaii’s legislature could do well to embrace a more enlightened perspective on the merits of legal marijuana.

But let’s not ignore the fact that statistics prove that “pot tourist” marijuana overdose admission rates to Colorado hospitals have also increased significantly since legalization there.

Maui Wowie. Kona Gold. These terms are familiar to probably anyone who smokes pot in the US. Hawaii, its officials, and its residents have long wrestled with pot’s place in our community. Operation Green Harvest, which was a joint county, state, and federal effort at marijuana eradication decades ago is often blamed for the social blight of crystal methamphetamine abuse and property and violent crimes that spiked alarmingly in the operation’s wake. Regardless of all of that remains the fact that a lot of Hawaii’s residents and visitors are pot-users.

Hawaii has yet to become a “Pot Tourism” destination, and it’s still to be seen that it ever will. Marijuana users, visiting or resident, are subject to prosecution for simple possession. A visiting medical marijuana patient can’t procure their medicine legally. Yet.

Remember that, visiting stoners.

Original Post

We get the question a lot: Is there really a lot of marijuana in Hawaii?

Well, yes and no. Marijuana is pretty accessible throughout Hawaii, which is considered a “national leader” among states in the production of high-grade marijuana. Homegrown marijuana, either harvested from sophisticated indoor grows or from outdoor grows, remains a staple for the local demand and for export to the mainland.

Medical marijuana certificates are distributed on the islands, where local users are permitted to grow plants at their residences for personal consumption. That’s actually the only way medical marijuana can be used legally. (Selling marijuana — even for approved medical use — is illegal under any circumstances.) Hawaii’s medical marijuana law allows certified patients to keep three mature plants, four young plants and an ounce of marijuana for each mature plant.

The availability of marijuana is perceived by our local population as normal. Small, mail-order marijuana operations from the islands to the mainland apparently exist and survive by shipping small quantities through air parcel providers. Marijuana may be shipped to the west coast in shipping containers marked “household goods,” as growers allegedly move to the mainland, although this has not been confirmed. While marijuana and crime are not related with great concern in the state, marijuana is frequently encountered in the public schools among students as young as sixth grade. A recent survey of high school students indicated that 70% of the respondents have easy access to marijuana.

Five states (California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington) had marijuana crops worth over $1 billion last year.

From time to time, controversy arises because local police bust people who are “distributing” marijuana to seemingly needy recipients. Earlier this month, a man was arrested because he was found in possession of more than the permitted number of marijuana plants and was allegedly selling marijuana for profit. The man, who holds a state-issued medical marijuana permit, was released, but the case will be referred to the county prosecutor’s office for possible prosecution on charges of commercial promotion of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and promotion of harmful drugs.

Back in November, seven men involved in a medical marijuana advocacy group were arrested on suspicion of running a drug-trafficking ring. The group admits selling or giving away marijuana to patients who might not otherwise be able to obtain it. Police have said they are not targeting patients who comply with the medical marijuana law.

You may have heard the term “Green Harvest.” About 30 years ago, an effort, both state- and federally-funded, targeted growers with the use of low-flying helicopters searching for marijuana. The choppers disrupted rural life and invaded the privacy of residents. Some claimed that the program did little to eradicate marijuana and even promoted the use of other, more dangerous drugs. Green Harvest is no longer funded.

If you’d like to know anything more about marijuana – medical or otherwise – don’t come to Hawaii-Aloha Travel. That’s about the extent of our knowledge, and interest.


  1. ‘pakalolo” has been wiped out on da islands…if you can find bud there..its $25 a gram and probabaly grown in california….everytime i light up a joint on da beach a million other tourists run up and “beg to buy” its such a shame…Ive had religious (sic) exp. in kaua’i…and hapuna on da kine…mahalo>>.tom

  2. Also,  any  weed  you  attempt  to   smuggle  down  there  will  re-hydrate  and may  taste  better,  its  tough  to  medicate  with  joints…,but  you  must  have  a  grinder  I  was  arrested  @  the  kaua'i  airport  with  300mgs ..Dumb ass .TSA   thought  it  was  heroin or  Ice  (smokable methamphetamine) I  left  with  a $250  fine….mahalo>>.tom the  nurse

  3. LOL I remember the Green Harvest operations on Maui when I was a kid. What a total waste of taxpayer dollars if you ask me. Rather like Prohibition in the 20's.  And no, I don't smoke pakalolo. 🙂

  4. LOL!!!! Clearly written by someone who has never lived on the west coast, let alone California.

    No marijuana in hawaii gets exported… It simply isn’t high enough quality to do so. The west coast and Colorado/Arizona supply Oahu. The big island and maui are more self-sufficient but they still get out of state shipments.

    The quality in hawaii is rather low… I pay 250 dollars for top shelf (most people here pay 400), but top-shelf is mid-grade in California. The medical laws here are pathetic…They were clearly not drafted by intelligent people (go figure)

  5. Hahaha reading everyone’s response just makes me laugh. Grams go for about $20, 8th 50-60, 1/4 80-100 with oz anywhere from 200-500. Depending on quality. Oahu gets a lot from CA, you can tell by the compactness of the bud from vacuum sealing. Oahu also has tons of indoor operations. Maui and Big Island have great outdoor, one hitters to close your throat. I’ve smoked bud everywhere in the world and Big Island and Maui have by far the best. You just have to know the sources and where to find it. Most times haoles or white people will get ripped off or get low quality. Cause nigga i be smoking the best shit, i’ve hooked up NFL stars for pro bowl, NBA stars and even rappers. And i get the same response each time, better then anything they’ve ever had before. And medical don’t mean shit in Hawaii so go find a local make a friend and go find the better shit. Cause it’s out there you dumb haoles are just asking the wrong people.

  6. My wife and I are retiring to the big island of Hawaii. My wife is on medical pot and I was wondering if anyone knew if we can place her pot in our container with our belongings?

  7. It’s funny to read this, because I’ll be on Hapuna Beach next week. Tom the nurse always takes care of me in San Fran. Wish there was a guy on the Big Island like Tom.

  8. Wow, way to sound like a complete douche-bag “travis black”. I bet it makes you feel very superior, when you talk smack on haoles. And why are you announcing that you sell weed on the internet? Way to act like an idiot.

    And weed from hawaii isn’t better then california. You can bring up, “maui” all you want. But the truth is marijuana can be grown perfectly all over the world. Especially with indoor grows.

  9. I'm on my personal trip to Honolulu and curious about the channel to get it online. I'm staying in a hotel there. I'm from China and never trying this stuff since it's prohibited in China. What a shame. Please send me a link to access to it and the way to consume them. Hopefully, I'll have a balcony to experience this great feeling.

  10. I was station on Oahu and live there for 9 yrs from 1975 – 1983. Im here to tell you that at that time the best weed in the world came from Hawaii. The even had Thai stick which was opium soaked marijuana. Japanese college students used to graft different strains into fruit trees like guava and mango, thus producing the flavor of the tree and the best concealment. Note: To graft a plant to a tree requires expertise, patience and alot of trial and error. By the way..the thai stick was so powerful that you might as well dont plan on doing anything til the next day.

  11. Let me add that so far no weed that that I know of has surpassed the quality of Hawaiian weed back then…I just wonder what happen to it. I suppose the state government did not want the publicity and eraticated the strains. To give a better explanation, think of this… There was so much resin on the plants that it would crystalize looking like white powder… Growers used to shake this powder off , sniff it and be high for a day. The buds would be flatten out to keep the thc crystals from falling of the buds. Combine the best seeds with volcanic soil and you had nirvana weed. Not cloudy, but spacy, clean and almost spiritual. Never such strains ever again. Back then if you had a good seed you shared it with no one. Made sure you gave people seedless buds. California weed does not come close by far.

  12. I salute the Hawaiian state government for what they did to eradicate the reputation, because after all, young pot heads are not good contributors to the economy and responsible Hawaiian legislators want the islands to be known for clean entertainment for tourists. Young people: If you don’t have your act together yet, don’t smoke weed, cause its hard to succeed if you are on it regularly. Weed is for adults who got their life together and can afford to F off. You can’t, and it will make you lazy and lack ambition. Everything has its time and place.

    • I don’t know what you’re smoking paradox but it must not be the best stuff around as you claim. Personally when I smoke marijuana it motivates me and raises my ambition, it makes me want to go out and do something useful and productive. The only time marijuana would make me lazy or lack ambition like you speak of, is if I smoked bunk brick packed weed from Mexico. Marijuana effects everyone somewhat differently and it also depends on many things such as the type of strain (sativa, indica, or hybrid) as well as the levels of THC, CBD, CBN, and CBC’s. Also what do you know about the economy, did you major in economics? I’ll bet if Hawaii legalized dispensaries to medical marijuana patients it would raise the standard of living and boost the economy as it did with Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. It’s ignorant people like yourself that is giving misleading information to young people and ruining the reputation of medical and recreational use of marijuana. Almost as foolish as the idiots in Hawaii state who wrote the law regarding medical marijuana, making it virtually inaccessible to cardholders to obtain their medicine. “cause its hard to succeed if you are on it regularly,” right haha I could pick apart your comments all day long, too much ignorance for me to handle and I have better things to do. So I’ll end this rant by saying everyone should educate themselves and do some actual research, don’t listen to deceptive ass clowns such as Paradox. And from there make your own judgements based on the conclusion you’ve came up with.

  13. Aloha, I will be in Oahu Jan 5 – 22 and will be attending former Navy places and reunions.

    I do carry a Washington state card and know that it is not good in HI, but I am wondering if a VET can get some
    medical mmj to help him out while I am there.

    mahalo, Kimo

  14. Aloha from Waikīkī, O’ahu.
    I am a Seattle transplant to Waikīkī. I have lived here in the same miniature place for a number of years now, since mid-2008.
    First of all, never, ever take marijuana on a plane, that’s just stupid. Don’t take any with you across any borders, ever. Instead, find a back road somewhere before crossing any border (like in to Canada from the U.S.) and find a spot that you can recognize later. Bury your pot and paraphernalia somewhere that you can recover it properly. Mark it on your GPS. Laugh like you’re stoned when telling the border guards that you have nothing. Do the very same before you come back in to the U.S. so you then have a stash on both sides of the border, for next time.
    Secondly. If you come to O’ahu looking for weed, your best chances of finding it, and your best chances of getting ripped off, are in Waikīkī (Honolulu).
    You may be approached on the street in Waikīkī, it will happen in a one-block area on the westerly side of Kuhio Ave., between Kaiulani Ave. & Dukes Ln., in the center of Waikīkī. Someone will ask you if you are looking for weed. Fair warning, you will get robbed every single time. I promise. I just heard a friend was robbed for his $80 before becoming my friend. They may offer you a ride, and then they will strong-arm you and make you get out of the car. They do that a lot. Or you might get something that looks like weed, but it is not. I was robbed many times when I first moved here. I didn’t know the trick.
    Did I mention that you will get robbed if you are approached on the street? It is common knowledge that you will get robbed. Don’t fall for it. There is a better way.
    How would you theoretically find pot while here on vacation? Go to the strip joint. Yes, the girly show. Right on Kuhio Ave., right across the street from where you would have otherwise been robbed. Perhaps it is a place that is named “Hawaii by Night”. When a girl walks up to you and asks you if you would like a private dance, just tell her why you are there. She might inspect your wallet trying to find out who you are. She will get her friend who will call someone. You will get hooked up. The girls seem to admire the fact that you are there to find some weed, and not some tail. Women also go in to this strip club, just not a lot of them. The place is tiny and loud.
    All the weed that I can get is from California. While the main man has dozens of different strains, he says it all originates in Cali. I’ve offered my skills of hydroponic indoor growing, but everyone tells me that it is not feasible. Electricity costs are outrageous and space is so tight, it’s not funny. Sure, you can grow outside but where? Only in the country can you do that (country meaning northerly part of the island) and still, it is outdoor grown. Again in my eyes, not feasible (and not the high quality that indoor growing gets you).
    While I might smoke out on the beach at night, I don’t recommend that you do. I have lived here long enough to know how to get away with it, and I know how to spot cops, and how they travel.
    The police presence in Waikīkī is off the charts. There is a police sub-station in Waikīkī at the beach. There are always police on Kuhio Ave. too.
    The hotels will be non-smoking, so you will need to leave if you want to smoke. I can’t tell you where to go to smoke, but obviously, leave the area where millions of people are staying, get away from the tourists. If you can’t leave Waikīkī, maybe you need to go for a walk. Walking is the best way to not get caught. Smoking a joint is obviously better than holding a pop-can pipe up to your face. You can easily smoke a blunt while going for a walk. Perhaps you would like to walk along the Ala Wai Canal, on the back side of Waikīkī? I’ve always liked being along side of water when doing something like this. I mean after all, if you have to ditch everything suddenly, what better place to do it than to sink it underwater?
    Do not ask anyone in “Smokey’s” where to find weed. While they are also on Kuhio Ave at Kaiulani Ave, and they may be able to sell you whatever paraphernalia that you need, they won’t help you find anything else, so please, don’t ask and they won’t get upset with you.
    If you are caught smoking pot here outside in Hawai’i, it is just a ticket, only a fine (up to $500). I heard it straight from the mouth of a judge, that if you hold yourself responsible and accountable (no matter why you are in court), that you will never get the full maximum penalty. Of course, I’m not saying that you won’t get a $500 ticket, but honestly, I don’t know of anyone who has ever been busted for pot, so I just don’t know what would actually happen. They have decriminalized it here and you cannot go to jail for possession of marijuana (you know, like under an ounce of personal possession).
    By posting this message, I want to inform the public to not buy pot on the street, it is a really bad idea. Again, you will get robbed! This may not ruin your vacation, but it certainly will leave a bad taste in your mouth. You are better of approaching someone not standing on the street, than to respond to anyone offering it to you. Don’t do it.
    Now I feel better.

  15. my room ate and i are in hour 60s lost hour connection for medilcal mj we live in lihue any one have any sujestions to help find thks

  16. my freand live in lihue any one have any sujestions to help thks were in hour 69s makes it tufferi lost hour connection use for medical purposes we

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