The 2015 Legislative Session


HB321 has been passed out of the Finance Committee unamended. It will now need to pass third reading and cross over to the senate.

SB1291 has passed out of committee with an SD2, which will be available here. It will likely contain the civil protections originally contained in SB682 (for housing, child custody, education, organ transplants), but not the employment provisions originally contained in SB1291.

SB682 has passed with an SD2 which will be available here. It will likely contain provisions protecting transportation of medical marijuana and removing the requirement that a certifying physician be a patient’s primary care physician, though we won’t know exactly what the bill looks like until the committee report has been released.

SB189 has been deferred.

2015 legislative session began on January 21st 2015. This is likely to be a very big year for medical marijuana. We have collected a list of the bills, with short summaries and the latest updates. There are many bills, and we have underlined the bills we support most strongly. Also note that at the bottom there is a list of bills we oppose that would limit the rights of patients. Feel free to click on the bill number to be taken to the legislature’s website to read the text and see up to the minute information about the bill. If you want to receive our periodic action alerts and updates, please sign up for our mailing list.

Dispensary Bills

  • HB321Dispensary bill from the task force recommendations.
    This is the bill that came out of the recommendations from the task force created by a resolution last session. This is the vehicle that will have the best chance of getting passed. Click here for our take on the bill, what needs to be changed, and what works well.

    • Referred to: HLT / JUD, FIN
    • This bill was passed with amendments by HLT and JUD. It will now need to be heard by the Finance committee. (FIN) There are many changes to the bill in the new draft. Most significantly, it limits the types of products that may be carried by dispensaries to “oils, capsules, lozenges, and pills.” It also changes the 500 foot distance to schools to 750 feet to schools, playgrounds and various other types of public areas.
      3/3/15 HB321: The committees on FIN recommend that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes were as follows: 13 Ayes: Representative(s) Luke, Nishimoto, Keohokalole, Kobayashi, Lowen, Onishi, Yamashita; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Cachola, Cullen, DeCoite, Johanson, Jordan, Pouha; 2 Noes: Representative(s) Tokioka, Ward; and Excused: none.
  • SB1302Dispensaries. This is another approach to creating a dispensary system. While much of it is the same approach taken in HB321, it has certain weaknesses. The bill establishes the number of dispensaries in the statute, rather than granting a ratio or giving the department of health the flexibility to add dispensaries as the number of patients increases.
    • Introduced by: GREEN, CHUN OAKLAND, DELA CRUZ, ENGLISH, ESPERO, GABBARD, GALUTERIA, IHARA, NISHIHARA, RUDERMAN, SLOM, Baker, Kahele, Keith-Agaran, Kidani, Kim, Riviere, Shimabukuro, Taniguchi, Tokuda
    • Referred to: HTH/PSM/JDL, CPN/WAM
      2/20/15 SB1302: Report adopted; Passed Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referred to CPN/WAM.

Civil Protections Bills


  • SB1291 SD2Civil Protections for Medical Cannabis patients This bill grants medical marijuana patients some protections with regard to housing, education, child custody, and organ transplants.
    • Introduced by KEITH-AGARAN, ENGLISH, ESPERO, RUDERMAN, Dela Cruz, Galuteria, Kahele, Shimabukuro
    • Referred to HTH, JDL.
    • This bill was passed out of committee with an SD2, which made significant changes to the bill. The original employment protections were removed, and protections for housing, education, child custody and organ transplants were added.
      3/6/15 SB1291: 48 Hrs. Notice 03-10-15.
  • SB682 SD2Transportation and removing the Primary Care Physician requirement The new version of this bill contains protections for patients transporting medical cannabis and removed the requirement that a certifying doctor be a patient’s primary care physician.
    • Introduced by ESPERO, GALUTERIA
    • Referred to HTH, JDL.
    • This bill was passed out of committee with radical amendments. The civil protections contained in this bill were included in SB1291’s SD2, and new provisions relating to transportation and certifying physicians replaced them.
      3/6/15 SB682: 48 Hrs. Notice 03-10-15.

Other changes to the Medical Marijuana Program

  • SB190Transfers of seeds and seedlings and an increase in the patient-caregiver ratio. This bill specifies that patients and caregivers may transfer cannabis seeds to one another and increases the number of patients that each caregiver may grow for from 1 to 3.
    • Introduced in Senate by ESPERO, GALUTERIA, RUDERMAN, Baker, Ihara
    • Referred to: HTH/PSM
      1/23/15 SB190: Referred to HTH/PSM.

For clarity, we have not included all bills that affect marijuana issues but do include those that affect the medical cannabis program. If you are interested in issues relating to adult-use marijuana (such as decriminalization), please visit Fresh Approach Hawaii.

To ensure that the above information is readable, as bills miss deadlines (and many of them will) we will remove them from the above list and they can be viewed here. While those bills are considered “dead” for the 2015 legislative session, they may still be alive in the 2016 session.