Steep Hill Hawaii Announces ISO Certification For First Licensed Cannabis Testing Lab In Hawaii

HAWAII: Dana Ciccone, CEO of Steep Hill Hawaii, the first state-licensed cannabis testing lab in Hawaii, announced it received ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certification by Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation Inc., an international accrediting agency recognized by governments and industry participants around the world as the standard of excellence for the operation of a quality laboratory management system.

Ciccone said in making the announcement on the achievement of the Certificate of Accreditation, “We are proud not only to be the first cannabis lab to be licensed in the State of Hawaii, but also now the first lab to achieve ISO certification, as well. Industry businesses, medical professionals, state regulators, and patients can be confident that our lab and its testing standards will operate to the highest international standards. This is a turning point for the industry – we have moved very quickly to raise the industry standards in Hawaii to internationally recognized certification. I am very proud of our scientific team’s professionalism and hard work to achieve this certification.”

Steep Hill Hawaii will run full-service testing for cannabinoid profiles (potency), terpenes, pesticides, heavy metals, biological screening, and residual solvents, testing for 17 cannabinoids and 43 terpenes. The company will test for industry businesses and in-state patient cardholders, and it has been structured to provide services to be affordable, with quick turn-around times. Steep Hill Hawaii is a locally owned and operated company.

 

Hawaii Selects BioTrackTHC For State’s Medical Marijuana Program

HAWAII: The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance has selected BioTrackTHC as the winner apparent for its state contract for tracking the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana.

“The development of a healthy and successful medical cannabis program is a top priority for Hawaii, and we are extremely proud to have been chosen to be a critical part of it,” said Patrick Vo, CEO, BioTrackTHC. “The islands of Hawaii are truly unique and we very much look forward to applying our expertise in solving the cannabis traceability challenges unique to Hawaii.”

BioTrackTHC’s government software solution will provide the Hawaii Department of Health real-time visibility into the seed-to-sale tracking data of every licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the state, including plant and inventory quantities, production activity, laboratory testing results, transportation activity, and dispensing activity.

This marks the fifth cannabis-related government contract won by the company. BioTrackTHC‘s seed-to-sale Traceability System for government agencies is currently being utilized by the states of WashingtonNew Mexico, and Illinois, and is in the process of implementation by New York. The company’s Enterprise System for businesses is used in more than 1,500 medical and recreational cannabis facilities in 23 states, Washington D.C.CanadaJamaica and South America. These technologies enable government agencies and businesses to track every plant and every fraction-of-a-gram of cannabis throughout the production lifecycle—cultivation, harvest and cure, quality assurance testing, transportation, destruction, and sale—bringing transparency, accountability, and meaningful insights to cannabis operations.

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November of last year and posted a Notice of Award naming BioTrackTHC on December 28, 2015.

Ige Signs Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Bill Into Law

HAWAII: Gov. David Ige has approved a new law that will create up to 16 dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana to Hawaii patients.

In a statement released Wednesday, Ige also announced that four other bills will become law without his signature.

“I support the establishment of dispensaries to ensure that qualified patients can legally and safely access medical marijuana,” Ige said. “We know that our challenge going forward will be to adopt rules that are fair, cost effective and easy to monitor. The bill sets a timeline. We will make a good faith effort to create a fair process that will help the people most in need.”

Hawaii approved a state law in 2000 allowing for medical marijuana use by patients with a prescription, but never set up a system for distributing cannabis. Patients or their caregivers have been required to either grow their own, or rely on the black market for their supplies.

Marijuana Dispensaries Could Bring Huge Benefits To State

HAWAII:  Medical marijuana advocates say dispensaries in Hawaii could contribute 800 jobs and $65 million a year in sales.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/1IXwkMK ) House Bill 321 calls for 16 dispensaries to open in Hawaii starting July 2016. The legislation is currently awaiting Gov. David Ige’s approval.

About 13,000 state residents are registered to use medical marijuana. Under current law, they have to grow their own pot or buy it illegally.

Executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association Nate Bradley says Hawaii’s total marijuana sales could reach $65 million annually with more patients getting medical marijuana cards.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill Passes Hawaii Legislature

HAWAII:  Members of the Hawaii Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would establish a system of medical marijuana dispensaries statewide by next summer.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 15 years ago, but has never provided a way to buy it legally. Patients must grow their own or have a caretaker grow it for them.

House Bill 321 would allow eight companies to open two marijuana dispensaries each as soon as July 15, 2016.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously with Sen. Russell Ruderman excused. House lawmakers approved the bill 38-13 after more than a half-hour of discussion. The measure goes next to Gov. David Ige, who has indicated he supports the medical marijuana dispensaries.

Taxes For Medical Marijuana Sales Magically Appear In House Bill 321

HAWAII:  As you might be aware, in 2000 Hawaii enacted a medical use of marijuana law (Act 228, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000). The problem, of course, has been how to get this medical marijuana to those who need

it without violating other laws. So this year our Legislature is working on House Bill 321, which would establish standards for and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The bill started off in the House and was referred to three committees there: Health, Judiciary and Finance. It passed all three and went over to the Senate. The Senate referred the bill to four committees: Health, Public Safety, Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means.

After the first two committees, the bill was still a regulatory bill. It then was heard by Judiciary and Ways and Means committees jointly, and those committees amended the bill by, among other things, adding two sections. One creates a special general excise tax rate for retail marijuana sales. The rate is 10 percent. The other imposes a GET surcharge on the same sales. That rate is 15 percent. So here we have a magical appearing tax. Instead of a rabbit coming out of the hat, we get a new, hefty 25 percent tax.

 

Tom Yamachika: No Compassion In Overtaxing Medical Marijuana

HAWAII:  As you might be aware, in 2000 Hawaii enacted a medical use of marijuana law (Act 228, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000). The problem, of course, has been how to get this medical marijuana to those who need it without violating other laws. This year our Legislature is working on House Bill 321, which would establish standards for and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The bill started off in the House, and was referred to three committees: Health, Judiciary, and Finance. It passed all three and went over to the Senate. The Senate referred the bill to four committees, Health, Public Safety, Judiciary and Labor, and Ways and Means.

After the first two committees, the bill was still a regulatory bill. It then was heard by Judiciary and Ways and Means jointly, and those committees amended the bill by, among other things, adding two sections. One creates a special general excise tax rate for retail marijuana sales with a rate of 10 percent. The other imposes a GET surcharge on the same sales. That rate is 15 percent. So here we have a magically appearing levy: Instead of a rabbit coming out of the hat, we get a hefty new 25 percent tax.

Civil Cafe: Marijuana Debate Heats Up in Hawaii

HAWAII:  What’s next for marijuana in Hawaii?

Medical marijuana dispensaries? Decriminalization? Outright legalization?

All three possibilities are currently being considered by the Legislature, where 29 marijuana-related bills are in the works.

Marijuana was the subject Thursday night at a Civil Cafe featuring a panel that included state Sen. Will Espero, Alan Shinn of Drug Free Hawaii, Wendy Gibson of Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and Capt. Jason Kawabata, executive officer for HPD’s Narcotics/Vice Division.

About 40 people crowded into the Fresh Cafe in Kakaako to hear the discussion and ask questions of the panel during the event moderated by Chad Blair of Civil Beat.

 

Medical Marijuana Access Takes Center Stage At House Hearing

HAWAII:  Fifteen years after medical marijuana was legalized in Hawaii, legislators considered a bill Saturday that would finally give patients the ability to legally obtain it even if they can’t grow it themselves.

There’s still plenty of opposition to taking that step, even though most of the people who spoke at a hearing before the House committees on health and the judiciary supported HB 321.

The bill would establish medical marijuana dispensaries and productions centers across the state.

Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. But unlike most states that have taken that step, Hawaii never passed legislation to help patients access their prescriptions, partly due to opposition from law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office.

In Hawaii: Medical Marijuana For Sale

HAWAII:  Nearly 14 years after the use of medical marijuana was legalized in Hawaii, medical marijuana patients may have a legal way to purchase it, rather than just grow it themselves, within the next few years.

The 21-member group tasked with crafting guidelines for a state-monitored medical marijuana dispensary system is recommending that at least one dispensary be opened in four of the state’s five counties by the start of 2017.

Members of the Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force, which was created during the last legislative session and convened shortly afterward, also agreed that state Department of Health officials should offer at least 30 licenses for medical marijuana producers beginning on June 1, 2016.

“I think it’s a very good start for guidelines for legislation, but the legislative process will lead to compromises and discussions,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti, D, Makiki-Manoa, who sat on the task force and chairs the state House Health Committee.