Senate Bill 862 was approved in Hawaii on December 28, 2000. This bill allows patients with certain debilitating conditions to legally possess, use, and cultivate medical marijuana.
The Hawaii Medical Marijuana Program
There are two medical marijuana programs in HI. One is called the Medical Marijuana Registry Program, and the other is called the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program. The HI Department of Health administers them both. Both programs aim to ensure medical cannabis is accessible for patients in HI.
The Hawaii Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch administers the Medical Marijuana Registry Program. HI laws require all qualified patients to be registered with the registry program before then being to use medical cannabis.
The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance administers the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program. This program ensures the quality of marijuana products and regulates the statewide dispensary system to ensure it is safe and legal.
What conditions qualify for the Medical Marijuana Program in Hawaii?
Patients in HI who wants to obtain medical marijuana must be diagnosed with one or more of the following medical condition:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe Nausea
- Seizures, including Epilepsy
- Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms, including Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
Where to find a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Hawaii?
The Hawaii Department of Health does not refer patients to physicians. The Hawaii Drug Policy Forum (DPF) is in the process of compiling a third party list of physicians that can assist patients. In the meantime, patients can email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding finding a licensed physician.
A certifying physician must be a resident of HI and hold a current valid license. They must also be registered with the Department of Public Safety to prescribe controlled substances. In Hawaii, the patient must have an established relationship with the licensed physician.
Where are the legal cannabis dispensaries in Hawaii?
Medical marijuana has been legal in HI since 2000, but access to medical cannabis has been a challenge. The goal of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program is to make products easier to purchase. Medical marijuana dispensaries became legal in 2015. Act 241 allow up to 16 dispensaries statewide.
To apply for a dispensary license, there is a non-refundable $5,000 application fee. Only one licensed dispensary can be used, meaning applicants cannot operate multiple dispensaries in various counties.
Dispensaries must be enclosed indoor facilities, and the interior cannot be visible from the outside.
If there is not a dispensary on one of the islands, a qualified patient or primary caregiver is allowed to grow an adequate supply for the qualified patient’s personal use.
Wat does my medical card get me at a dispensary in Hawaii?
In HI, registered patients may legally possess the following:
- Up to four ounces of usable marijuana at any given time.
- No more than seven marijuana plants, whether immature or mature.
Where can you smoke?
All smoke-free laws in Hawaii apply to medical cannabis.
Registered patients and caregivers cannot smoke in the following places:
- All public areas, including parks, beaches, recreation centers, youth centers, school grounds.
- In any moving vehicle
Are patients and caregivers shielded from discrimination?
Yes. As long as the patient is registered and they submit their designated caregiver on their application, both will be shielded from discrimination.
Caregivers can only have one patient at a time. The caregiver must provide a copy of a valid HI state ID or driver’s license. The patient pays for the caregiver’s initial and renewal application fees.
The Future of the Medical Marijuana Program in Hawaii
In 2015 PTSD was added to the list of qualifying medical conditions.This goes to show the Medical Marijuana Program in Hawaii is changing and improving.