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, they decriminalized small amounts of the Schedule I drug in January 2020.
As of 2023, the Aloha State has more than 30,000 medical cannabis cardholders. For some registered patients, the program has historically felt restrictive—though pending legislation will continue to expand medical cannabis program.
If Gov Josh Green signs the legislation, these bills will expand qualifying conditions for Hawaii medical marijuana patients over 65 years old. These medical cannabis laws would also legalize delivery for qualified patients and allow dispensaries more freedom to sell cannabis propagules and cuttings to authorized individuals.
Regardless of the restrictions, Hawaii 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.
These numbers are expected to soar with the recent passage of legal adult-use cannabis through the Hawaii Senate in March 2023. If passed, SB 669 would legalize the possession, transfer, and transportation of up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of cannabis by adults aged 21 and older. The legislation also legalizes the home cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, including not more than three mature, flowering plants.
As of 2019, the state made it possible to get an electronic card, giving patients immediate access to medical marijuana products upon physician approval and card registration.
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 relationship between healthcare providers and their patients. 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.”
Never fear: Veriheal can set you up with a doctor who consults and reviews patient records for approval.
Along with having a qualified condition, medical cannabis patients must also meet other Hawaii State requirements for a medical cannabis card, including having a valid driver’s license or state identification card. The patients 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.
Out-of-state patients can also acquire medical cannabis in the state of Hawaii with a valid medical marijuana card.
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 seven 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.
According to the state website, “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.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii.
Veriheal can connect you with a certified physician who can approve you for medical marijuana treatment. Once you’re approved, you must fill out an online application to register with the state.
Hawaii allows both a patient or caregiver to possess up to four ounces of cannabis at a time, equaling seven plants if personally cultivating.
Yes, out-of-state patients can still access medical cannabis in the state of Hawaii. To obtain medical cannabis at a Hawaiian dispensary, patients must show their medical marijuana card and their valid state ID, driver’s license, or passport.
Once you’re approved by a doctor, online registration with the state costs $38.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are legal in Hawaii. Though recreational adult use cannabis remains illegal, the state currently holds 13 licensed retail dispensaries for medical cannabis.