Hawaii

Lawmaker Dreams of Transforming Hawaii Into Marijuana Production Hub

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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: