Everything you wanted to know about medical marijuana in Hawaii.
General: Health / Wellness / Spirituality
Medical Marijuana has been making the news a lot lately, even here in Hawaii. Most people believe that Medical Marijuana was made legal just recently but it was actually legalized back in 2000. The legalization in 2015 is that marijuana can now be sold legally in Hawaii, if you have a license to do so. Previously, your only legal option for obtaining cannabis in Hawaii was to grow your own (assuming you had a 329 Registration Card).
Registry Versus Dispensary
To better understand what's going on with cannabis in Hawaii, you have to understand the two programs that are now in place to regulate it. The first is the Medical Marijuana Registry Program (MMRP) which administers the registration process and issues 329 Registration Cards to individuals who qualify because of a debilitating medical condition.
On the other side, we have the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing (MMDL) program which regulates the industry that grows and sells marijuana to qualifying patients and their caregivers.
So the MMRP is where patients will go to get legally registered while the MMDL is where retailers will go to get a license to open a store that sells cannabis. Both programs are controlled by the Hawaii State Department of Health. As a patient, your main concern is with the MMRP and obtaining a proper 329 Registration Card that will legally let you buy (or grow) your own medical marijuana.
While the MMDL is less of a concern, at least know that this program allows up to 16 dispensaries statewide. So places you can buy from will still be quite limited overall, at least for now.
What Is A 329 Registration Card?
A 329 Registration Card is what's known more commonly as a Medical Marijuana Card. This is your "license" to use marijuana for medical purposes. If approved for the card you are allowed to possess up to 4 ounces of usable marijuana at any time. If you're growing your own plants you can grow up to 7 marijuana plants (mature or immature) at any one time.
How Do I Qualify For A Medical Marijuana Card In Hawaii?
There is a list of medical conditions approved by the Hawaii State Department of Health listed below, and new conditions can be approved through a petitioning process.
- HIV & AIDS
- Severe Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Seizures (including epilepsy)
- Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn's Disease)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Where Do I Get Diagnosed For Medical Marijuana Use In Hawaii?
This is the harder part right now. You'll need to be diagnosed by a licensed physician who is a resident of Hawaii and whom you have an established relationship with. So forget all of those out of state (or out of country) "doctors" you found online.
Unfortunately, some of the big-name health care providers like Kaiser Permanente currently want no part of the marijuana game so they're not going to help you in this area. Of course, they'll happily push plenty of other prescription drugs your way! The State Department of Health also won't help as they don't refer patients to physicians.
Since this is still so new in Hawaii, we expect that it will become easier to find a list of doctors who can help patients in need soon enough. As that happens we'll provide updates to this article. Until then, the Drug Policy Forum Of Hawaii may be a good place to start.
Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana In Hawaii?
Although the law passed in 2015 to allow the sale of medical cannabis to approved patients, it's not easy to buy from any dispensaries yet. The dispensary approval process took time and then getting the shops set up to sell takes more time as well.
Here are the places you will be able to legally purchase medical marijuana in Hawaii:
OLDTCG Retro Market 1, LLC
Noa Botanicals, LLC
Aloha Green Apothecary
Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC
Maui Grown Therapies
Big Island Grown Dispensaries Hilo
Hawaiian Ethos, LLC
Green Aloha, Ltd
Where Can I Use Medical Marijuana In Hawaii?
The first thing to know is that smoking marijuana in Hawaii has the same restrictions as smoking cigarettes and vaping. So that means you can't smoke in any public place which includes beaches, parks, schools, at any workplace, etc. You also can't smoke marijuana in any moving vehicle. This is a good thing as Hawaii's smoke-free laws are designed for public health and safety.
You cannot use medical marijuana in a way that endangers the health or well-being of another person and cannot use it for purposes other than medical use as permitted by law.
It would probably be much easier to just mention that your best bet for usage of the drug is at home only, probably with few other options.
Note that if you grow your own plants, you're required to put an identification marker with the 329 Card Number and expiration date at the base of every marijuana plant so they can be easily identified as legal.
Medical marijuana in Hawaii is still in its infancy. This article isn't intended to touch upon every possible issue, concern, legality, and process surrounding the controversial drug. Because of that, always do your homework and make sure you're abiding by all laws if you're a medical marijuana user.
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