Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Hawaii? -…


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is-delta-8-thc-legal-in-hawaii?-…

Forget what other online sources are telling you. Hawaii prohibits hemp-derived delta-8, delta-10, and other chemically isomerized cannabinoids. The use, possession, sale, distribution, and manufacturing of delta-8 products are punishable under state law. However, unverified reports claim retailers openly sell delta-8 products across the state, suggesting minimal law enforcement.


Summary

  • You cannot legally use, possess, sell, distribute, or manufacture isomerized delta-8 products in Hawaii.
  • Hawaii also prohibits other isomerized cannabinoids such as delta-10, HHC, and THC-O.
  • Hemp-derived CBD is legal, but marijuana-derived CBD isn’t. 
  • There is currently no legislative attempt to change Hawaii’s stance on delta-8.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Hawaii?

No, Hawaii prohibits chemically isomerized delta-8 THC, meaning you cannot use, possess, sell, distribute, produce, or market delta-8 products under state law. 

Chemical isomerization refers to producers exposing CBD molecules to heated solvents and acids (typically heptane or glacial acetic acid) for up to 72 hours. The solvent, acid, and heat mixture changes CBD’s molecular structure, causing it to convert into delta-8. 

The DEA and many US states consider the chemical conversion of CBD to delta-8 as a synthetic process that creates an illegal chemically synthesized cannabinoid. The federal government typically prohibits synthetic compounds under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 

Currently, 22 US states restrict, regulate, or ban delta-8 products — Hawaii is one of these states. 

However, unverified sources claim Hawaii retailers continue selling and distributing delta-8 products with little-to-no trouble from law enforcement.

Legislative History of Delta-8 in Hawaii

In August 2021, the Hawaii Department of Health, Food and Drug Branch, passed a set of interim rules banning the sale of inhalable and edible hemp products, including delta-8. Prohibited products included delta-8 flower, cigarettes, vapes, beverages, and any other product intended to be ingested into your eyes, ears, and nose. Later, on February 24, 2022, Hawaii revised these rules, prohibiting all isomerized cannabinoids, including delta-8, delta-10, HHC, and THC-O. Our email correspondence with Hawaii’s health department confirms the ban (see below).

CBD Oracle email correspondence with the Hawaii State Department of Health on November 3, 2022.

Buying Delta-8 Products in Hawaii 

Despite Hawaii’s delta-8 prohibition, some claim delta-8 is available through some retail stores across the state, mainly in Honolulu. However, we recommend exercising caution here. Law enforcement can technically arrest and charge you for delta-8 possession. 

Though technically not legal, delta-8 products are being sold in retail stores across Hawaii. Photo: CBD Oracle

Can You Travel to Hawaii With Delta-8?

No, since Hawaii prohibits the use and possession of isomerized delta-8 THC, you cannot legally travel into Hawaii with hemp or marijuana-derived delta-8 products in your possession. We recommend leaving your delta-8 products at home. 

Is Marijuana Legal in Hawaii?

Medical cannabis for patients with an eligible health condition and a medical marijuana card is legal in Hawaii under state law. Hawaii was the eighth US state to legalize medical marijuana and the first to permit its use through the legislature rather than a ballot initiative in 2000. 

Adult-use recreational cannabis is illegal in Hawaii, but possession of small quantities (up to 3 grams) is decriminalized. 

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii. Under state law, eligible patients 21 or older with a licensed medical cannabis card can use, possess, and grow limited quantities of cannabis for medicinal purposes only. 

Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano signed Act 288 into law, allowing medical cannabis cardholders or their caregivers legal avenues to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes. This bill did not create a legal cannabis market or establish licensed dispensaries. 

Later, in 2015, Hawaii expanded its existing medical marijuana law and established the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program. This program permits the cultivation of medical cannabis and creates a legal dispensary network. 

All qualifying patients must register with the Hawaii Department of Health and obtain an ID card (329 Registration Card) before using or possessing medical cannabis. 

In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Health announced an online process allowing medical cannabis patients residing in other US states legal access to medical marijuana products when visiting Hawaii. The process is a simple ten-minute online form and a $49.50 fee and can be completed 60-days in advance. 

In 2022, a Hawaii Senate Committee approved SB 2718, allowing all Hawaiian residents 65 and over automatic access to medical cannabis, even without a qualifying condition. The bill cleared the Hawaii Senate Health Committee with a unanimous 3-0 vote with an effective date of January 1, 2050. This date means the bill will be discussed and debated at a later date. 

Recreational Marijuana

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Hawaii, but small quantities of up to 3 grams are decriminalized under state law following House Bill 1383, signed by David Ige in 2020. 

Hawaii criminalized all forms of cannabis in the early 20th century following federal-level cannabis prohibition. Several attempts to legalize recreational cannabis after medical cannabis was made legal in 2000 have all but failed. 

Just last year, three legislative attempts in the Senate sought to legalize recreational marijuana: Senate Bill 767, Senate Bill 704, and Senate Bill 1376. SB 767 and SB 704 failed to pass or even receive a hearing in the Senate. SB 1376 passed but won’t be effective until 2137, rendering it useless. 

Can You Purchase Delta-10, THC-O, or HHC in Hawaii? 

No, since Hawaii prohibits isomerized cannabinoids, you cannot legally purchase isomerized delta-10, HHC, THC-O, or other related THC isomer products without the risk of penalty or prosecution. 

Is CBD Legal in Hawaii?

Hemp-derived CBD is legal and regulated in Hawaii. 

You can use, possess, sell, distribute, and produce CBD products carrying no more than 0.3% total THC, including natural delta-9, delta-8, and delta-10. You can purchase CBD online or over the counter through physical retail stores. 

Marijuana-derived CBD for medicinal purposes is legal for Hawaiian patients with qualifying conditions. 

However, restrictions on CBD and delta-8 products apply. Recent rule changes state that edible and inhalable CBD products are banned, meaning Hawaii does not permit the use or sale of flower, vapes, drinks, or foods containing either cannabinoids.

Upcoming Legislation in Hawaii

There is currently no upcoming legislation that could change the legality of delta-8 THC in Hawaii. 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, isomerized delta-8 THC will remain illegal in Hawaii for some time. We expect the state to regulate it like California and Oregon if (or when) lawmakers pass a recreational cannabis legalization bill. Until then, proceed cautiously and be aware that delta-8 products are not strictly legal.


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