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.