Hawaii CBD Laws: 2019 Legal Hemp Regulations in HI, US

A legal look at the Hawaiian Islands' take on CBD laws and what the latest hemp-derived cannabidiol extract regulations in the state of Hawaii are in 2019.

When it comes to hemp, states that have legalized the substance may have also developed their own rules and regulations concerning the substance. Because every state where hemp is legal may have its own regulations, it may be beneficial to go through those regulations state by state. This general overview will cover Hawaii’s hemp regulations.

As the CBD industry continues to expand, more Americans are becoming interested in using CBD as a form of alternative treatment for a variety of different medical conditions. Consequently, states like Hawaii have worked to include CBD in their own frameworks of regulation for marijuana and related substances. In Hawaii specifically, both a medical marijuana program and a blanket hemp CBD legalization help to create a definitive framework under which Hawaii CBD users can access the substance legally and safely.

Despite the seeming simplicity, the litany of regulations and laws concerning CBD can make understanding its legality a difficult undertaking. This guide has been created as a resource for consumers to begin to understand the basics of Hawaii’s CBD and marijuana laws. Although all attempts have been made to ensure that this guide is accurate and relevant to current laws, regulations and rules change quickly in the CBD industry. Consumers should conduct their own research and contact local authorities to ensure that they follow all applicable laws.

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Program

In Hawaii, medical marijuana is regulated and tracked by the state’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program. Patients approved with a valid medical reason and a physician’s recommendation are allowed to register in the program. Registration enables patients to purchase medical marijuana from licensed, vetted dispensaries throughout the state.

For CBD users, the takeaway from Hawaii’s medical cannabis program is simple. The program allows Hawaiian citizens to purchase and consume cannabis CBD, CBD with a significant THC content. The only stipulations to the law are that the purchaser is twenty-one years of age or older and qualify for the medical marijuana program.

Hawaii Hemp-Derived CBD

Hawaii follows the general federal rules when it comes to hemp-derived CBD and its legal status. The state allows anyone over the age of eighteen to purchase any amount of CBD, so long as the substance contains less than 0.3% THC content. This is commonplace; this small amount of THC generates no typical high, and will not show up on most professional drug tests.

Additionally, consumers do not need any kind of physician recommendation or medical marijuana card to obtain hemp CBD. Hawaiians can simply purchase CBD from most health and wellness shops, smoke and head shops, and even from some convenience stores and gas stations.

Hawaii Industrial Hemp Pilot Program

Hawaii has an industrial hemp pilot program, established by Hawaii Revised Statutes 141-32. This statute establishes the pilot program within the Department of Agriculture and the program allows the cultivation of industrial hemp and the distribution of its seed in Hawaii for the purpose of agriculture and academic research. Further, under a separate provision, industrial hemp is the Cannabis sativa L. plant.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture provides individuals with a rich amount of information concerning the program. According to the website, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program regulates just the cultivation of industrial hemp, not its processing or products made from or containing the substance. Further, the program does not restrict the cultivation of industrial hemp that contains CBD – but, there may be regulations or laws that do restrict or prohibit CBD in hemp, during the cultivation and harvest.

The website also makes clear that cannabis that tests at or below 0.3% THC grown under a medical marijuana card or with no license or card is not legal. The only legal way to cultivate the substance in Hawaii is under a license from the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture.

The Department will also conduct routine sampling collections and testing at some point within 30 days before the product is harvested, and such inspections can be announced or not announced and will be performed in compliance with rules. The tests include potency tests for THC, and sometimes pesticide screening.

Quarterly Licenses

Even though the Department accepts applications at any time, licenses are issued on a quarterly basis – that is, four times a year. This includes in March, June, September, and December. There is also a licensing process – applicants that are not successful or whose applications have been rejected will be notified by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Applicants who are successful will receive a Licensing Agreement for their review and signature. There is a process for going forward with the licensing agreement, which is explained on the HDOA website.

Additional Information

According to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website, those who are interested in participating in the state’s industrial hemp pilot program can review Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 141 and the Administrative Rules Chapter 4-161. This will provide further details concerning the requirements that must be met to apply and maintain licensure in the program.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Hawaii is relatively friendly to the CBD industry, and will likely only become more friendly as public demand continues to increase.


Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.

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Mike Roets
Michael enjoys being a professional free lancer writer for the past handful of years who has a keen interest in health and wellness, and a personal liking of practicing nutritional hacks and habits. While he can go super-deep and break down everything from medical studies to legal literature, his well-versed style comes across in a clean, crisp, easy to digest manner. Lately, Mike has taking a liking to weeding out the bad actors in the natural product supplementation while giving unbias research and facts for all of those interested in living a higher quality of life.

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