The Status of Cannabis Legalization in Hawaii
The only U.S. state surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii was the first state to legalize cannabis by legislation for medicinal use in 2000. Twenty years later, like so many other states, they decriminalized small amounts of the Schedule I drug in January 2020. Six months later, in August of 2020, Benzinga reported that the Aloha State has more than 30,000 medical cannabis cardholders. Many of these medical cannabis cardholders in Hawaii feel that the program is too restrictive.
Regardless of the complaints, dispensary sales continue to rise month-to-month. With out-of-state reciprocity, Hawaii welcomes mainland cannabis cardholders on the island who can use cannabis without penalty. “BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research reported that Hawaii generated $15 million in medical sales during 2018, with that figure expected to reach $94 million by 2024,” according to Benzinga.
As of 2019, the state made possible an electronic card, giving patients immediate access to medical cannabis upon physician approval and card registration. While the island progresses as far as cannabis is concerned, passing legislation in February 2020 allowing for the sale of edibles, according to Hawaii News Now, it still prohibits recreational use, with no sign of allowing it anytime soon.
Hawaii has approved more than a dozen conditions that qualify residents for a 329 card for medicinal cannabis, including:
Hawaii has strict conditions on the patient/physician relationship. The state mandates that it must be an “ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition with respect to the medical use of cannabis.” The good news is Veriheal can set you up with a doctor who consults and reviews patient records for approval.
Along with having a qualified condition, a patient must also meet other Hawaii State requirements for a medical cannabis card, including having a valid driver’s license or state identification card. The patient must also pay the $38.20 one-year registration fee in addition to the $199 Veriheal cost for physician consultation and certification approval. If you are not approved after a consultation with a doctor on Veriheal’s platform, you will be refunded in full. Hawaii residents also have the option of paying a two-year registration fee, which makes the card valid for an additional year.
Applications must be completed electronically for the Medical Cannabis Registry Program with the Hawaii Department of Health. You will need to create an account with a valid email address and upload the necessary documentation and pay the $38.50 application fee. For caregivers, a Caregiver Certification Form will need to uploaded.
Hawaii details in a disclaimer that any forged 329 cards will be confiscated. “Your card may be revoked & denied entry into a dispensary if a registration card is tampered, falsified, altered (in any way), modified, or allowing another person to use, tamper, falsify, alter (in any way), or modify a registration card,” reports the state.
Caregivers in Hawaii
Hawaii details precisely what a caregiver does, outlining that they assist friends or family since “some patients are too ill to grow their medical cannabis and a caregiver may be designated to grow medical cannabis on behalf of the patient and may be needed to assist the patient in obtaining their medical cannabis from the dispensary,” according to the state.
A caregiver must be at least 18 years of age, and the state of Hawaii only allows one caregiver per patient. All patients must designate the qualified caregiver they wish to represent them upon applying for a 329 card.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Hawaii
Hawaii allows both a patient or caregiver to possess up to four ounces of cannabis at a time, equaling ten plants if personally cultivating. Additionally, out-of-state card holders can hold a certain amount of cannabis while on the island. However, the rules of caregiver cultivation are subject to change.
“Caregivers will not be able to cultivate after December 31, 2023 unless there is no dispensary on the patient’s island, or the caregiver is the parent, guardian, or person having legal custody for a minor patient or an adult lacking legal capacity,” reports the state website.