According to a new analysis if Hawaii legalizes recreational marijuana the industry would create over 3,000 new jobs and generate over $80 million in annual tax revenue.
According to the HICIA 2023 Adult Use Market and Tax Projection Report, conducted by the Hawai’i Cannabis Industry Association, the state legalizing marijuana would create 3,375 new full-time jobs while bringing in $81.7 million in tax revenue for the state every year. The report comes as several bills sit pending in the state legislature that would legalize marijuana and regulate it similar to alcohol.
“The Hawaiʻi Cannabis Industry Association (HICIA) has complied this report to provide expert industry data for a possible Adult Use of cannabis (legalization, taxation, and regulation) program in the State of Hawaiʻi”, states the report. “Other estimates have been released by other organizations but HICIA believes this report to be the most comprehensive and accurate report on the topic to date.
According to population-based projections, HICIA predicts a total legal cannabis market size of $423 million annually. Although “Actual cannabis use is often underreported”, polling by HICIA “shows 44% of Hawaiʻi residents are current or former cannabis users which is higher than the national average.”
Under current Hawaii law marijuana is legal for medical purposes, but possessing anymore than three grams for personal use is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and an $1,000 fine, whereas possessing over an ounce can land you in jail for up to a year with a $2,000 fine.
According to an SMS Hawai’i poll released earlier this month, 52% of Hawaii residents who are adults support legalizing marijuana, with just 31% opposed.