Track Bills

Current Bills:


HCR48, the resolution creating a task force on dispensaries has been passed out of the Senate Health committee, and Ways and Means.

SB2574 will be heard by its conference committee on Monday at 8:50AM in conference room 229. Here is a copy of the hearing notice including the names of the conferees.

Below is a list of bills that affect the medical marijuana program in Hawaii. For a list of bills that deal with the non-medical uses of marijuana, take a look at the bill tracking feature of Fresh Approach Hawaii. For a list that includes the bills from the last session, click here.


HCR74 / HR51- A concurrent resolution introduced by Representatives Belatti, Creagan, Hanhano, Hashem, Ing, Kobayashi, C. Lee, Luke, McKelvey, Morikawa, Rhoads, Saiki, Souki, Thielen, and Cabanilla to convene a task force to develop recomendations on the establishment of a dispensary system. This resolution will help create a dispensary system that is acceptable to law enforcement, the drug law reform community, and legislators, and also refers the matter to an auditor, who is required by law to review regulatory procedures whenever an unregulated profession becomes regulated.

  • This resolution has crossed over from the house to the senate.
  • This resolution has been referred to the Senate Committees on Health and Ways and Means (HTH, WAM).

HCR48 – A concurrent resolution introduced by Representatives Belatti and Hanohano, to convene a task force to develop recomendations on the establishment of a dispensary system. This resolution will help create a dispensary system that is acceptable to law enforcement, the drug law reform community, and legislators. There is also a house resolution companion to this, HR29.

  • This resolution has passed the house and crossed over to the senate.
  • In the Senate, the bill has been referred to: HRE/HTH/CPN, WAM

 SCR80 / SR37 -A resolution formally requesting that the DEA remove marijuana from its position as a schedule one drug on the basis that a schedule one drug must have “no currently accepted medical use,” and marijuana obviously does have an accepted medical use. This resolution was introduced by Senators Espero, Ruderman, Baker, Chun Oakland, Gabbard, Galuteria, Hee, Shimabukuro. This resolution has also been introduced as:

  • This resolution has passed the Senate and must now pass the house.
  • The concurrent resolution has been referred to the house committee on public safety followed by a joint meeting of the committees on consumer protection and the judiciary (PBS, CPC/JUD).

Amendments to the current program:

SB2574 – This bill, introduced by Senators Green, Chun Oakland, Ruderman, and Shimabukuro, adds “board certified pain physicians” as doctors who can recommend medical marijuana. This bill will still exclude many qualified candidates from the medical marijuana program, as not all uses of medical marijuana are for pain management. HB2092 is the better fix for the primary care physician requirement in the current law. Moreover, the new language added in the Senate Health Committee defines a primary care physician as a primary care physician reported to a patient’s insurance provider, thus effectively excluding anyone with PPO insurance or without insurance from the program, and forcing those with some providers to change insurers.

SB2574 SD1 HD2, however, currently contains the original text of HB2092, and thus is the correct approach to fixing this issue.

  • The bill has passed Third Reading. Representatives Aquino, Awana, Cullen, Har, Tokioka, Ward, Yamane voted aye with reservations; Representatives Fale and McDermott voted no.
  • This bill has now passed both chambers. The Senate disagrees with House amendments, so the bill will go to a conference committee.

Other bills relating to Medical Marijuana:

HB1503 – A bill that makes it harder for landlords to evict tenants on the basis of their legal medical marijuana use.

  • This bill has been referred to a joint meeting of the House Judiciary Committee (JUD) and the Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) committee.
  • This bill was heard, and passed with an amendment that limited its usefulness in the case of condos or other units where a landlord might be in a position where they are unable to comply with the requirements of the condo agreement or horizontal agreement.
  • This bill has crossed over to the senate, and has been referred to the Consumer Protection (CPN) and Judiciary and Labor (JDL) committees.
  • This bill was heard at 9:30AM on Tuesday the 11th in conference room 229, and passed out of the CPN committee with amendments.
  • This bill has passed the senate with twenty five aye votes and one aye with reservations (Slom).
  • The House disagrees with Senate amendments to the bill and it will go to conference committee.

To see a list of some of the bills that were put forward for this session but didn’t make it, click here.

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The Dept. of Health is Recruiting a Medical Marijuana Transition Coordinator

Please spread the word! The Department of health is looking to hire someone to help them coordinate the transition of the Medical Marijuana Program from the Department of Public Safety. Please spread the word, and apply if you are interested and qualified. Here is the Recruitment Notice:MUMP_Transition_Coorinator_Recruitment Notice.3.20.14

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Medical Cannabis Featured in Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health

medmarijuanaThe most recent issue of the Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health has a focus on Medical Cannabis. While there are both pro and con points of view represented in the issue, there are a couple of things that the authors agree on. One is that medical cannabis is very beneficial for some people. The other, and this is key, is that marijuana does not belong in schedule 1, and that it must be removed. This will hasten the pace of research into the benefits of marijuana.

An especially compelling and informative pro-cannabis article was written by Dr. Charles Webb and Sandra Webb R.N. Here is the abstract:

Clinical research regarding the therapeutic benefits of cannabis (“marijuana”) has been almost  non-existent in the United States since cannabis was given Schedule I status in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In order to discover the benefits and adverse effects perceived by medical cannabis patients,especially with regards to chronic pain, we hand-delivered surveys to one hundred consecutive patients who were returning for yearly re-certification for medical cannabis use in Hawai‘i.

The response rate was 94%. Mean and median ages were 49.3 and 51 years respectively. Ninety-seven per cent of respondents used cannabis primarily for chronic pain. Average pain improvement on a 0-10 pain scale was 5.0 (from 7.8 to 2.8), which translates to a 64% relative decrease in average pain. Half of all respondents also noted relief from stress/anxiety, and nearly half (45%) reported relief from insomnia. Most patients (71%) reported no adverse effects, while 6% reported a cough or throat irritation and 5% feared arrest even though medical cannabis is legal in Hawai‘i. No serious adverse effects were reported.

These results suggest that Cannabis is an extremely safe and effective medication for many chronic pain patients. Cannabis appears to alleviate pain, insomnia, and may be helpful in relieving anxiety. Cannabis has shown extreme promise in the treatment of numerous medical problems and deserves to be released from the current Schedule I federal prohibition against research and prescription.

I strongly encourage everyone to read it. This is key information because when politicians think or say that everyone using medical cannabis is a 25 year old that just wants to use it recreationally, we can show that this is false.

Moreover, if we needed to justify our support SCR90, this is it. In the medical community, both those in favor of marijuana and those against it want rescheduling so that we can learn more. Only in politics do those opposed to marijuana want to keep everyone in the dark.

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New Resource: Study Reveals that Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Cause an Increase in Crime

plos oneWe’ve already seen that dispensaries are not associated with an increase in crime. A recent study shows that other state’s medical marijuana programs are also not associated with an increase in crime, and indeed, these states have seen crime levels fall. This is key to us in Hawaii, because as we attempt to expand our medical marijuana program with a dispensary system, we have been hearing much of the same rhetoric. We have the closest thing that there is to proof now to refute this. Expanding our program will not increase crime.

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Upcoming Supreme Court Case May Change Employers’ Rights to Fire Medical Marijuana Patients

r-BRANDON-COATS-hugeClick here to read the full story at the Huffington Post.

This is the story of Brandon Coats, a patient in Colorado who uses cannabis to treat severe muscle spasms associated with a crippling automobile accident. He was fired from his job at Dish Network automatically when he tested positive for THC.

Until now, state supreme courts have upheld employers’ right to fire employees who use medical marijuana, but all that may change on Monday, when the Colorado Supreme court will take his case. If Brandon Coats wins in front of the supreme court, it will have a direct bearing only on medical patients in Colorado, but it could set a precedent that would affect medical marijuana patients around the country.

Here in Hawaii, we struggle not only to improve the medical marijuana system in some basic ways, but we also are engaged in this same struggle to ensure that medical marijuana patients are treated with a level of respect and dignity by society as a whole, not just law enforcement. In this legislative session, we have been supporting a bill, HB1503, which will help prevent our patients from being evicted.


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New Resource: Cannabis Yields and Dosage

Click here for the PDF document. This is an excellent resource on producing and consuming medical marijuana, and it is free online from Chris Conrad and Safe Access Now.

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Hawaii News Now: Dispensary Measure Moves Forward in Legislature

Click here to watch a video from Hawaii News Now.

This coverage shows some of the profoundly affecting story of a local family whose daughter suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravets syndrome and who can not access sufficient amounts of medical cannabis oils in order to provide her the most effective possible treatment.

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