Pot smokers may have something to light up about before the Hawaii Legislature shuts down this year.

Although only four of the 14 marijuana bills are still alive at the halfway mark, the ones that are could significantly change Hawaii’s pot policies.

The remaining bills include:

  • A bill that would place jurisdiction for medical marijuana under the Department of Health, rather than the Department of Public Safety
  • A bill that would create three classes of medical marijuana licenses
  • A bill that would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana subject to a fine of no more than $100
  • A bill that would amend Hawaii Revised Statutes to fall in line with federal laws on controlled substances and increase the registration fee for medical marijuana patients.

Originally, the Hawaii House was considering six bills relating to marijuana. There were eight under consideration in the Senate.

To see a full list of all the introduced marijuana bills, look here.

The bills below have passed one chamber:

Medical Marijuana

1) Senate Bill 175

What it does: “Transfers departmental jurisdiction of the medical marijuana laws from the department of public safety (DPS) to the department of health (DOH) and requires DPS to assist with the transfer. To facilitate the transfer, requires the DPS to continue to maintain a verification service to confirm registration that is accessible 24/7 to the DOH.”

The latest: The Senate committees on Health; Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs; and Ways and Means all voted to pass the measure. It unanimously passed the Senate floor. The bill has been transferred to the House and been referred to the joint Health and Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee; and the Finance Committee.

2) Senate Bill 1458

What it does: “Creates three classes of medical marijuana licenses: class 1 medical marijuana compassion center license for the sale of medical marijuana to qualified patients; class 2 medical marijuana cultivation license; class 3 medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing license. Specifies requirements for each class. Makes medical marijuana sales subject to income and excise taxes. Establishes a fee for issuance and renewal of a license and a special marijuana sales tax.”

The latest: The bill passed both the Senate Health Committee and the Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee. It was also approved by the Ways and Means Committee and received only one “No” vote on the Senate floor from Sen. Sam Slom. It has been referred to three committees in the House: A joint Health and Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee; the Judiciary Committee; and the Finance Committee.

Decriminalizing Possession

1) Senate Bill 1460

What it does: “Establishes a civil violation for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana that is subject to a fine of not more than $100, and establishes an adjudicatory structure for its enforcement. Deletes reporting requirements of board of education for students possessing one ounce or less of marijuana. Clarifies that medical marijuana patients and primary caregiver may assert affirmative defense to prosecution, criminal or civil, involving possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. Excludes possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from authority of Hawaii paroling authority to require paroled prisoner to undergo and complete substance abuse treatment. Excludes possession of more than one ounce of marijuana from authority of courts to require a defendant to undergo and complete substance abuse treatment for probation violation. Clarifies definition of detrimental drug to exclude one ounce or less of marijuana. Excludes possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from offenses of promoting a detrimental drug in the second degree and third degree. Clarifies a civil violation for possession of marijuana does not constitute a prior offense for purposes of the conditional discharge law.”

The latest: The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, the Health Committee and the Ways and Means Committee all voted to pass the measure. It was unanimously approved on the Senate floor and has been transferred to the House. It has been referred to a joint Health and Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee; and the Judiciary Committee.

Medical Marijuana Registration Fees

1) House Bill 1085

What it does: “This measure amends Chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to bring the Hawaii statutes on controlled substances in line with the federal laws on controlled substances, and increases the fee for the registration certificate for qualifying patients for medical marijuana.”

The latest: The bill passed the House Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee. It then passed unanimously on the House floor. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.