HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawai’i Cannabis Industry Association released information from a new survey that shows residents of Hawai’i are in support of full legalization of marijuana.

According to HCIA’s public opinion poll, eight-six percent Hawai’i’s residents support legalization. The survey also found that there is the potential to bring in $81 million dollars in tax revenue from its legalization.

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“With over $81 million dollars in tax potential and overwhelming support in the islands, it’s almost a no-brainer for Hawaii to follow the 21 other states that have legalized personal adult use of cannabis,” said Ty Cheng, 2023 president of HICIA.

“However, it’s critically important that we avoid the mistakes of other jurisdictions by adopting policies that minimize the threat of black-market criminal activity and ensure safety with robust oversight,” added Cheng.

More findings from the survey include the discovery that Hawai’i residents prefer recreational legalization [45%]; whereas, only 41% percent support legalization to be exclusively medical based.

They found that 30% of elected officials would vote for recreational legalization; forty percent would not support legalization regardless of what the constituents they represent want. And, a strict 26% of elected officials would never vote for legalization in any scenario.

The HICIA 2023 Cannabis Adult Use Market and Tax Projection report found that there is an estimated $423 million in projected annual gross revenue from legal cannabis sales and that projected annual gross tax revenue to the state of Hawaii could be $81.7 million.

Interestingly, the report also found that the industry would provide 3,375 FTE direct industry jobs.

Gov. Josh Green, M.D. had this to say about Hawai’i legalizing marijuana, “Legalization of recreational marijuana use has been happening across the country over the years. Twenty-one states, Washington, D.C. and Guam have laws to regulate and tax it. I support legalization, and we must build in guardrails to be safe and to make sure that marijuana does not go to young people whose brains are still developing. I’ll insist that much of the tax revenue goes toward drug treatment and law enforcement.”

Rep. Adrian Tam weighed in on the topic as well. “Legalization of recreational cannabis regulates and controls the substance for safety purposes.”

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HICIA said that their ’s “proposed bills, HB1216 and SB669, are intended to utilize best practices learned from other states’ policies.”