East Hawaii News

Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced as Application Process Closes

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California State University file image.

California State University file image.

Governor David Ige signed Act 214 in July 2015 that laid down the framework for the first medical marijuana dispensary program in Hawai’i.

A permitting application process followed the signature and was opened in mid-January for prospective applicants interested in obtaining a permit to operate a dispensary. The application period is set to close Friday.

Licensee announcements are expected to be announced by April 15.

Under the Hawai’i Department of Health, interim rules have been established and inventory and sale tracking software has been confirmed.


Senator Will Espero of District 19, which encompasses portions ‘Ewa Beach on Oahu, has introduced several pieces of legislation that are aimed at improving the medical marijuana program and assist patients who will use it.

The measures include an oversight committee (SB2176) within the DOH and includes licensed medical professionals and registered patients that monitor, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding the implementation of the use, cultivation, and dispensing of medical marijuana and the program as a whole.

In addition, Senator Espero has introduced the following bills:

SB2175: Requires the Department of Health to issue a third medical marijuana dispensary license for the County of Hawai’i. Allows medical marijuana dispensaries to be open during certain hours on Sundays. Allows an individual convicted of a felony to be employed at or enter into a medical marijuana dispensary facility only if the individual has not been convicted of a felony within the six years immediately preceding employment or entry.


SB2177: Requires DOH to issue a receipt that shall serve as a temporary registration certificate for the medical use of marijuana upon receipt of a written certification form completed by or on behalf of a qualifying patient. Increases penalty for fraudulent misrepresentation to a law enforcement official relating to the issuance of a written certificate by a physician.

SB2178: Allows arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, and stress to be included among the debilitating medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be authorized to be used.

SB2306: Allows DOH to revoke a medical marijuana dispensary license under certain conditions and subject to a ninety day notice followed by a public hearing within fourteen days. Establishes a fine of up to $500 per day for any licensee who violates state law or administrative rules. Allows a licensee to appeal a fine to an ad hoc special committee. Allows DOH to choose a new licensee if the department revokes a license.

SB2307: Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, establishes a licensing system for medical marijuana growing facilities, production centers, and retail dispensing locations. Allows persons authorized to use and possess medical marijuana in other states to be treated similarly to qualifying patients in this State pursuant to rules adopted by DOH after Jan. 1, 2018. Authorizes the department of health to conduct criminal history checks on license applicants; licensees; prospective employees of growing facilities, production centers, and retail dispensing locations; subcontractors; and persons authorized to enter and remain on such premises. Repeals chapter 329D on Dec. 31, 2016.


SB2308: Establishes a working group to research and make recommendations regarding medical marijuana edibles for human consumption.

SB2627: Establishes a medical marijuana commission to evaluate and make recommendations about the overall effectiveness of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the State.

SB2757: Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to establish a three-year industrial hemp research program to investigate the viability of industrial hemp as a building material for housing in the State. Requires a final report to the legislature prior to the convening of the regular session of 2019. Defines “industrial hemp”. Repeals July 1, 2019.

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