Understanding the Medical Cannabis Laws and Regulations in Hawaii

Medical cannabis has been legal in Hawaii since 2000, but accessing medical cannabis products has remained a challenge for many. To address this, several acts and amendments have been enacted to clarify and expand upon the existing laws, providing a framework for the use, distribution, and regulation of medical cannabis in the state.

Act 241 SLH 2015 was a significant milestone, establishing Hawaii’s Dispensary law and paving the way for the creation of dispensaries. This act was codified into the Hawaii Revised Statute 329D. The Department of Health took over the administration of Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Program on January 1, 2015, transitioning from the Department of Public Safety, a change mandated by Act 177 SLH 2013. Subsequently, Act 178 made amendments to Chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, Part IX, providing further clarity on the medical use of cannabis. For a comprehensive understanding of these changes, it is advisable to read Act 241 in its entirety.

Several other acts have been implemented to refine and expand upon Hawaii’s medical cannabis laws. Act 230 SLH 2016 clarified various aspects of the state’s medical cannabis laws. Act 242 SLH 2015 added non-discriminatory language to existing laws pertaining to the medical use of cannabis. Act 263, enacted in July 2023, amended the state’s Hemp Processor law (Chapter 328G Hawaii Revised Statute), necessitating changes to the interim rules (Chapter 11-37 Hawaii Administrative Rules) by the Office of Medical Cannabis Control and Regulation (OMCCR).

The Hawaii Department of Health has also updated interim rules effective February 24, 2022, to better align regulatory definitions with statutory definitions and to align with the requirements of the medical cannabis program. These updates include ingredient prohibitions on cannabinoids created through isomerization, such as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol and delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol.

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It is crucial for individuals to be aware that ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. The medical use of marijuana in Hawaii is defined as “the acquisition, possession, cultivation, use, distribution, or the transportation of cannabis or paraphernalia…” and additional information can be found in HRS-329-122.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, it is recommended to review the Medical Cannabis Laws & Rules on the Hawaii State Department of Health’s website. The department also administers the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program, with dispensaries expected to begin distribution of medical cannabis and manufactured medical cannabis products as early as July 2016.

The state has also established the Medical Cannabis Registry Program and enacted various laws to regulate the medical use of cannabis. For a complete listing of these laws and to understand the restrictions on medical cannabis use in Hawaii, individuals can visit the official website of the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program.

Medical Cannabis in Hawaii

Medical Cannabis Program
Medical Cannabis Laws & Related Documents
Medical Cannabis Use & Restrictions
Statutes and Rules
Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program
Medical Cannabis Registry Program
Hawaii Medical Use of Marijuana
Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program | Laws & Administrative Rules
History of the Hawaii State Medical Cannabis Program
Medical Cannabis Registry Program

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