Lawmaker Dreams of Transforming Hawaii Into Marijuana Production Hub


Aleks / Wikimedia

Hawaii House Majority Leader Rida Cabanilla thinks that legalizing the production and exporting of pot would be the golden opportunity for Hawaii to tackle its $25 billion debt.

Cabanilla told Hawaii Reporter:

This state would turn into a manufacturing state. Can you imagine factories that would be making 'Maui Wowie' cookies and making marijuana macadamia nut candy for export? I think that would be wonderful.

Maui Wowie, the renowned Hawaiin strain of marijuana, has been the subject matter of Kid Cudi.

The bill also mentions "cannabis-infused chocolate, ice cream, beverages, capsules, bath soaks, and muscle relief lotions."

Cabanilla insists she's not calling for marijuana legalization. She doesn't like the stuff. But she thinks it's a practical step toward reducing the state's unfunded liabilities.

First Cabanilla needs to pass House Bill 2124 which would put the state's Department of Agriculture and Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism at the helm of a temporary working group. It would be tasked with outlining an export plan and handling other tricky logistics.

Tax revenues would be divided amongst the state Department of Education, Department of Health, Public Housing Authority, and Housing and Finance & Development Corporation.

Cabanilla sees a number of problems receding post-roll out:

"I am not even a fan of it. But if that is what it takes for our state to be in the forefront where we can fix our roads, we can build more affordable housing, we can help the homeless —that is the route we should go.  And people in Hawaii will be so happy, because this may be the state that they don't have to pay property tax."

She added: "Our farmers will never be poor again."

Hawaii has the optimal climate for the production of illegal substance production. The bill reads:

The Goddess Pele has provided Hawaii with the best soil in the nation for marijuana cultivation; it should be capitalized upon for the good of her people.

Of course, recreational drug use in Hawaii, like in most states, is illegal. The bill would not lift barriers to domestic use.

But one day Hawaii could export to foreign countries, like the Netherlands, where it is legal. Cabanilla also hopes to work with Colorado and Washington, which are unrolling legalization this year and are facing shortages. Hawaii could fill the void.

Unfortunately, Cabanilla's plan faces an uphill battle with the federal government. Moving the plant on federal property is illegal. But Hawaii in the case that the federal government entertains a change of heart, the state will be "ready to rock."

Watch the interview from Hawaii Reporter with Rida Cabanilla below:

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  1. "I am not even a fan of it. But if that is what it takes for our state to be in the forefront where we can fix our roads


    1. Once they get the dollar signs in their eyes, they'll be tough to shake.

  2. "Maui Wowie, the renowned Hawaiin strain of marijuana, has been the subject matter of Kid Cudi."

    Alyssa Hertig loses 10 cool points.

    The correct answer was, Chuck Mangione

    Really, it shows your age, and lack of appreciation for the flugelhorn.

    1. Hey, I like "Feels so Good."

      1. Thanks for putting that in my head. Like I didn't hear it enough growing up in the 70s & in his hometown. Actually I still kind of like it.

      2. You LIKE it?

        No, dammit, you LOVE it. Because the disco-bass turnaround/breakdown is *the shit*. Definitely beach-drinking music.

        FWIW, one often-overlooked kickass jazz record is Mangione's "Alive" from 1972. Steve Gadd on Drums, Tony Levin on bass. If you only know mangione for cheesy elevator music, its a shocker. Its pretty nasty.

    2. +1 Theme from "Side Street"

    3. Somebody showed their age, but I'm not sure it was Ms. Hertig.

      1. Its not age Mary, its called *taste*

    4. Hey! I love the flugelhorn.

  3. Huh. A secession driven by the weed.

  4. The thing is, legalization--true, not-ultra-restricted legalization like we are now seeing here and in CO--would be an obvious and massive economic boon anywhere. There's a massive market for weed, and it just so happens that a lot of people who like to smoke weed need accessories like bongs and roach clips and so on, and also like to consume their weed in a variety of forms and strains.

    Hawaii would totally benefit from legalization, but so would anywhere. Though I have to admit that the weed I've smoked in Hawaii has been pretty good. But then again, everything in Hawaii is usually pretty awesome (gun laws and taxes excepted).

    1. Call me cynical but, I wonder if the huge amounts of regulation isn't by design, not just a shortsighted attempt to get the governments cut. Once the black market doesn't vanish because the barriers in the legal market are close to or higher than those of operating in the black market. Legislators in the middle can go whichever way the wind is blowing in their district and say it works or it doesn't. Precisely because they made it only kind of work.

      Also for every idiot that spouts "regulate it and tax it." It's already taxed, just like every other fucking thing is, with: sales tax, payroll tax, property tax, income tax, business licensing, cap gains, etc.

    2. Those are the 2 things that matter most to me.

      P.S. There were still several cases of Hairy Eyeball on the floor of the grocery store yesterday. Let me know if you want one on layaway.

  5. like the Netherlands, where it is legal.

    Except, no.

    1. While they do have some commercial pot food products there (or did last time I was there anyway), I'm pretty sure importation of anything like that is still quite illegal in the Netherlands.

      1. The entire marijuana industry there is still illegal they just have an official policy of non-enforcement. It is weird but that's how it is.

        1. It sort of makes sense when you're really high. Like Phish. But then you stop being high and go, "This is fucking stupid". Like Phish.

  6. More like Canabilla.

  7. I'd guess ten years out all of these stoner entrepeneurs will be bought out by Big Pot.

  8. So long as the marijuana isn't grown by Monsanto. Keep GMO out of our weed!

    1. That's where it is headed. Growing in closet will be like people selling raw milk.

  9. The Goddess Pele has provided Hawaii with the best soil in the nation for marijuana cultivation; it should be capitalized upon for the good of her people.

    And if you need an idea of just how ridiculous the Hawaiian government is, that line is in the actual text of the bill.

    1. It would be oddly humorous to see a bill like that struck down on 1A grounds.

  10. If Hawaii ever get this or something like this passed they'll stop receiving $322 million in federal subsidies for being Hawaiian right?

  11. I like the idea of Hawaii (and our other Pacific territories after it) actually becoming self-sufficient, independent of tourism and military spending.

  12. What's funny is that there's going to be a race in various jurisdictions to legalize and take advantage of the high prices elsewhere because it's still illegal or highly restricted, but then those high prices will go away as all the other jurisdictions legalize and then the people who thought it'd be a big revenue generator are going to be like, "What was that about?"

    1. Just like every other gold-rush-type event in our history.

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