Is Delta-8 THC legal in Hawaii?

Forget what other online sources tell you. Hawaii bans hemp-derived delta-8, delta-10, and other chemically isomerized cannabinoids. The use, possession, sale, distribution and manufacture of Delta-8 products is a criminal offense under state law. However, unconfirmed reports claim that retailers are openly selling Delta-8 products across the state, suggesting minimal criminal prosecution.


summary

  • You may not legally use, own, sell, distribute or manufacture isomerized Delta-8 products in Hawaii.
  • Hawaii also prohibits other isomerized cannabinoids such as Delta-10, HHC, and THC-O.
  • CBD from hemp is legal, but CBD from marijuana is not.
  • 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, which means that under state law you may not use, possess, sell, distribute, produce, or market Delta-8 products.

Chemical isomerization refers to manufacturers who expose CBD molecules to heated solvents and acids (typically heptane or glacial acetic acid) for up to 72 hours. The mixture of solvent, acid, and heat changes the molecular structure of CBD, causing it to convert to Delta-8.

The DEA and many US states consider the chemical conversion of CBD to Delta-8 a synthetic process, creating an illegally chemically synthesized cannabinoid. The federal government typically bans synthetic compounds under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Currently, 22 US states restrict, regulate or ban Delta 8 products – Hawaii is one of those states.

However, unconfirmed sources claim that retailers in Hawaii continue to sell and distribute Delta 8 products with no problems 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 transitional 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 put in your eyes, ears, and nose. Later, on February 24, 2022, Hawaii revised those rules and banned all isomerized cannabinoids, including delta-8, delta-10, HHC, and THC-O. Our email correspondence with the Hawaii Department of Health confirms the ban (see below).

The Hawaii State Department of Health provides details of Delta-8's legal status in email correspondence
CBD Oracle email correspondence with the Hawaii State Department of Health on November 3, 2022.

Purchase of Delta 8 products in Hawaii

Despite Hawaii’s Delta-8 ban, some claim Delta-8 is available at some retail locations across the state, mostly in Honolulu. However, we recommend caution here. Law enforcement can technically arrest you and charge you with Delta 8 possession.

Delta-8 THC products sold in Hawaii
Although not technically legal, Delta-8 products are sold in retail stores throughout Hawaii. Photo: CBD Oracle

Can you travel to Hawaii on Delta-8?

No, since Hawaii prohibits the use and possession of isomerized delta-8 THC, you cannot legally travel to Hawaii with hemp-derived 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 appropriate medical condition and a medical marijuana identification card is legal under state law in Hawaii. Hawaii became the eighth U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana and the first to allow its use through the legislature rather than through a ballot initiative in 2000.

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

Medical marijuana

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

Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano signed Law 288, allowing medical cannabis card holders or their guardians legal avenues to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes. This bill did not create a legal cannabis market nor established licensed dispensaries.

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

All eligible patients must register with the Hawaii Department of Health and obtain a 329 Registration Card before using or possessing medicinal cannabis.

In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Health and Human Services announced an online process that would allow medical cannabis patients residing in other US states to legally access medical marijuana products when visiting Hawaii. The process is a simple 10 minute online form and costs $49.50 and can be completed 60 days in advance.

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

recreational marijuana

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

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

Just last year, three Senate legislative attempts attempted to legalize recreational marijuana: Senate Bill 767, Senate Bill 704, and Senate Bill 1376. SB 767 and SB 704 either failed or never received a Senate hearing. SB 1376 passed but does not take effect until 2137, rendering it useless.

Can you buy 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 risk of fine or prosecution.

Is CBD legal in Hawaii?

Hemp-derived CBD is legal and regulated in Hawaii.

You may use, own, sell, distribute, and produce CBD products that contain no more than 0.3% total THC, including natural delta-9, delta-8, and delta-10. You can buy CBD online or over the counter in physical retail stores.

Marijuana-derived CBD for medical use is legal for Hawaiian patients with qualifying conditions.

However, restrictions apply to CBD and Delta-8 products. Recent rule changes state that edible and inhalable CBD products are banned, meaning Hawaii does not allow the use or sale of flowers, vapes, beverages, or edibles that contain both 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 do if (or when) lawmakers pass legislation legalizing recreational cannabis. Until then, proceed with caution and note that Delta 8 products are not strictly legal.

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