The state of Hawaii, Paradise of the Pacific, made history when the local government made the progressive decision to decriminalize medical cannabis back in the year 2000 through a state bill rather than a ballot measure (maybe their attempt to chill everyone out after the Y2K bug scare?), but this relatively liberal state has some of the strictest laws on record when it comes to accessing pot for medical purposes. Though it might be difficult to get your hands on pakalolo (‘crazy’ or ‘numbing’ tobacco) – as the locals know it – to treat your medical condition, there’s more than one way to stock up on your favorite bud – and top-notch Hawaii cannabis seeds from Growers Choice are a great example!
Cannabis History in Hawaii
This island state isn’t just famous for Tom Selleck in short shorts, grass skirts, or black sand beaches. Did you know that some of the world’s most legendary cannabis strains were bred here? We’re talking about the likes of Maui Wowee and Puna Buddaz – maybe it was one of these that everyone’s favorite former president was enjoying in that now-famous black and white pic. Pakalolo was once called Hawaii’s number one crop by Rolling Stone magazine, and fans had no problem baring their bud in public at concerts or on the beach.
It should be known that for decades the governmental relationship with cannabis in Hawaii was as laid back as the people, and the 70s saw a rash of what can only be referred to as artisanal growers honing their skills on potent crops. The 1980s saw a huge downturn in the culture, however, when the Green Harvest program was formed as part of the DEA’s nationwide War on Drugs. During this time, the federal government successfully seized more cannabis in Hawaii than in any other state. Unfortunately, thanks to this crackdown, it’s been said that many of the more famous Hawaiian strains have gone extinct.
Though state legislation decriminalized medical cannabis more than a decade and a half ago, it took 15 years for them to consider an expansion to the program. Today, almost 70% of Hawaiian voters support the full legalization of cannabis – perhaps in hopes of getting back to the glory days – and locals look forward to reefer reform.
Cannabis Appreciation in the Aloha State
Though it goes without saying that the locals of Hawaii are cannabis-friendly, there is a Smoke-Free Law in effect on the islands, which basically means that toking is not allowed in public spaces (indoor or out). As always, though you are unlikely to get picked up by the local Five-0, we always suggest you party on with discretion and respect for your fellow islanders.
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You Can’t Buy Cannabis in Hawaii…
You may have a medical cannabis card in Hawaii, but bureaucratic red tape has made it all but impossible for patients to purchase pot. In 2015, medical dispensaries were finally given the go-ahead, but the laws were dictated in such a way that owners (current and potential) were jumping through hoops in hopes of being given the green light to stock their shelves. Dispensaries are also bound by some pretty strict rules, such as not being able to carry or sell paraphernalia or edibles. They are also required to have all their weed be grown indoors and tested before it can be sold to customers, and everything has to be kept under glass – you can look, but you can’t touch (or smell, *frowny face*).
…But You Can Grow It!
As you can see, for a long time the government made it difficult for locals, even those who went through the rigorous process of applying for their medical cannabis cards, to purchase the pot they needed as part of their treatment regime. There has always been a silver lining, though: patients are good to grow cannabis on the islands! You’re allowed up to seven plants at any given time (mature and immature), and you can possess up to four ounces of bud for personal use.
Granted, it can be an expensive venture – ganja gardeners in Hawaii are looking at paying often as much as five times the average rate for electricity per kilowatt-hour. But the weather here is conducive to creating some beautiful bud and a lot of local growers focus on a hybrid method that involves setting up an outdoor greenhouse to take advantage of that Hawaiian sun during the day, and then transport plants to an artificially-lit space overnight (during the vegetative period).
At this point, the question is less, “How am I going to grow?” and more, “What am I going to grow?” We like to think we’ve got that covered – check out these potent and popular strains: