Category Archives: Education

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses Issued on 5/20/16

P medical-marijuana

Congratulations to the Winners of the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Licenses! They are:

City and County of Honolulu

 Aloha Green Holdings, Inc., Thomas Wong, Charles Lee

Manoa Botanicals, LLC, Brian Goldstein, Alan Gottlieb

TCG Retro Market 1 LLC dba Cure Oahu, Tan Yan Chen, Colbert Matsumoto, Richard Lim, Kent Walther, Scott Kuioka, Dana Tokioka, Franklin Tokioka, Tobias Martyn, Duane Kurisu

Hawaii County:

Hawaiian Ethos LLC, Shelby Floyd

Lau Ola LLC, Richard Ha, Dylan Shropshire

 

Maui County

Maui Wellness Group LLC, Gregory Park, David Cole

Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, William Mitchell, Robert Wong, Michael Takano, Racquel Bueno, William Farley, Darrell Lee, Gregory Wood

Kauai County:

 Green Aloha, Ltd., Justin Britt

We know that all of these groups have worked hard to put the applications together and now are working as quickly as possible to put together the grow sites, the manufacturing sites and the dispensary sites. We are hopeful that the first dispensaries will be open by the end of the August. And, we look forward to working with dispensary owners, health care providers, community leaders, patients, families and caregivers to help ensure a smooth roll-out. We hope EVERYONE will participate in helping create supportive educational programs and community outreach.

To learn more about the licensees please read this Civil Beat Article.

To read more about the merit SCORING system and see the scores, check Hawaii Dispensary Alliance postings HERE.

 

Happy New Year — 2016 will be a Big Year for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Happy New Year Everyone!  January is going to be a very busy month for the Medical (Cannabis) Marijuana Program in Hawaii.P medical-marijuana  With the passage of HB321, (now referred to as ACT 241), up to 16 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries may be opening this year!! There may be up to 6 dispensaries on Oahu, 4 on Hawaii Island, 4 in Maui County, and 2 on Kauai. This could generate up to 800 jobs, according to an article in the Star Advertiser.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a reality.


The Patient Registry will continue to be administered by the Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services (formerly STD/AIDS prevention) branch. You can sign up for program updates on their website. They succeeded in transferring a paper-based system into an online system, created a way to track statistics as well as a way for law enforcement to verify patient validity, while maintaining patient confidentiality. They reported that in November 2015, they registered 12,630 medical marijuana patients. While initially, registrations were delayed, they report that most of the cards are now being sent out within two weeks. Patients who wish to learn how to create an online application can watch this VIDEO.

The Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program will be Administered by the Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance  (OHCA). They are the people who oversee licensing, surveys & inspections of adult day health centers, ambulatory surgical centers, home health agencies, hospitals, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities, and clinical laboratories. Frequently Asked Questions will be published on their website.  Pacific Business News reports that Attorney Margaret “Peggy” Leong, is the new head of the program. Read about the Seed to Sale tracking company, Bio Track THC, chosen by the DOH,  HERE in MJ Headline News.

Time frames for Dispensaries in 2016:

January 11th — Applications will be made available by OHCA.

January 12th to 29th — Applications will be accepted. Panel will begin review & merit scoring.

April 15th — Winners of licenses announced. Growers may begin growing.

July 15th — First Dispensaries may open their doors.


The Interim Administration Rules, HAR 11-850 (published 12/15/15) are available HERE.  The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii (DPFHI) and the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance (HDA) and legislators presented concerns at an Informational Legislative Briefing, held on December 28, 2015. You can watch the two-hour long briefing HERE thanks to Olelo.


Events to watch for in January:

January 15th (Friday) from 4-5pm–Tune in to the Jeff Davis Radio Show (AM Radio Station 1080 -KWAI) to listen to hosts Wendy Gibson (Field Organizer for The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and Antoinette Lilley (President of Hawaii Dispensary Alliance) talk about medical cannabis in Hawaii.

January 20th Opening Day at the State Capitol.  Always an exciting day and good way to meet your legislators. 

January 30 and 31st — Come to the Hawaii Cannabis Expo at the Blaisdell Center.

Educational Opportunities.  You can learn more about:

* How to participate in Hawaii’s Legislative Process through the Public Access Room (PAR). Watch their videos HERE.  Learn how to write testimony HERE.

* Cannabis and Health Issues by watching the “Medical cannabis Health Summit, a FREE, Online session with 20+ of the world’s top experts, doctors, scientists, and entrepreneurs will deliver ultra-compelling, 22-minute presentations about the most important cannabis and health issues today.

Date: Saturday, January 23– Sunday, January 24 from 9 am – 5 pm, Pacific time. Register soon!

JOIN in the discussion through the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii’s e-mail newsletter updates and Action Alerts HERE.

Halloween Cannabis Candy Scare Needs Perspective

Regulation is the best way to protect our Keiki.

Last month, two Hawai’i teenagers wound up in an Emergency Room after consuming an illegal product laced with an extremely high concentration of cannabis.

At the time, we put out a statement (below), which still holds true as the story gets recirculated in the run-up to Halloween.

Scares like this tend to crop up at this time of year.  It merits mentioning that in Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, there were ZERO cases of cannabis candy poisoning on Halloween that year.

You may have seen the September 29, 2015 Hawaii News Now video about the Hawai’i teens that wound up in an emergency room after ingesting fruit roll-ups laced with some type of cannabis extract.  Thankfully, the teens had a brief ER stay and are now doing fine.

Here’s what you need to know to complement the report:

  • The product is clearly illegal and intended for recreational purposes.
  • The media report’s reference to“medical marijuana” is spurious. Few, if any, medical marijuana patients would have any interest in this potentially dangerous item.
  • Therefore, as there was no quality assurance in the making of these rolls, it is highly possible that the product contains contaminates such as mold, pesticides or solvent residues.
  • The symptoms like vomiting are expected results of ingesting a high dose of a concentrated substance or a contaminated product.
  • Cannabis has been used medically for decades to treat gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease and nausea. However, when used recklessly or recreationally, large amounts of cannabis can cause gastrointestinal problems and more.

Ultimately, this is exactly the type of situation that is more likely to happen when you have no regulation of a market and a total absence of quality control. In addition, a black market like this does not care about our keiki or check IDs.

Next year, Hawai’i will see the opening of its first medical marijuana dispensaries, addressing all of these problems. 

Dispensaries will have tight security and adhere to strict regulations. They will sell only safe and tested products. They WILL check IDs–prohibiting sales to anyone under age 21.

Most importantly, we are glad that the teens received the medical attention they needed and that they recovered from this scary experience. We hope that they will tell their peers about the need to avoid these types of dangerous scams.

To learn more about how to TALK TO TEENS about drugs, please read SAFETY FIRST: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs.

Safety First

If you missed “What’s Next for Marijuana in Hawaii” on Civil Cafe–You can watch it now!

On February 19, 2015 the Civil Cafe panelists answered questions about “What’s Next for Marijuana in Hawaii”. In case you missed it, pop some popcorn and sit back and enjoy two hours of the panel discussion with questions from the audience. The four panelists were:

Senator Will Espero, Wendy Gibson R.N. from the Drug Policy Forum, Alan Shinn from Drug-Free  Hawaii and Capt. Jason Kawabata from HPD’s Narcotics/Vice Division.

Click HERE for the link to Civil Cafe on Olelo.

Civil Cafe Cory Lum photoPhoto by Cory Lum.

Is it really Medicine? A NOT so brief (but interesting) History of Medical Marijuana

If you are a Medical Marijuana (cannabis) patient then you know the answer is “YES” when someone asks “Is marijuana really a medicine?” It’s a question that some people are still asking—so here’s a little background of how marijuana has been used throughout history.

The oldest documented use of marijuana (cannabis) as medicine goes back to about 2900 BC in China.

What about use in the United States?

1652: The British Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote about medical uses for Hemp (the cannabis plant). George Washington did too,  between 1745 and 1775.

1850 to 1937: many patented marijuana preparations were sold in apothecaries (pharmacies).Cannabis Indica as medicine

The Pharmacopoeia

In 1851: Cannabis was included in the United States Pharmacopoeia, the book used to identify and standardize (the then mostly botanical) drugs in medical use.

Marijuana was listed as useful for treatment for numerous afflictions including: neuralgia, alcoholism, opiate addiction, tetanus, typhus, cholera, dysentery, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, and excessive menstrual bleeding.

The supplies (indica flowers) used in making the medicine came mainly from India. These supplies were interrupted by World War I.

1913: the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it had succeeded in growing domestic cannabis of equal quality to the Indian cannabis. By 1918, about 60,000 pounds were produced annually, from pharmaceutical farms.

1920s through 1940’s: Reefer Madness was born. Driven by industrialists, racists and law enforcement media hype–the public responds with mass hysteria about the dangers of Marijuana to society. Alcohol prohibition ends and Marijuana begins to take its place.

1937: The American Medical Association opposes the passage of the Marihuana (Stamp) Tax Act, which  charged doctors, pharmacists and producers for sales. The required stamps are expensive to buy and only a few are issued, discouraging everyone involved in cannabis sales. Cannabis products disappeared from pharmacy shelves and in 1943 cannabis was removed from the Pharmacopeia.

1964: Dr. Rafael Mechoulam and colleague, Dr. Yehiel Gaoni, identified and synthesized delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

1970: Marijuana becomes illegal and classified alongside heroin as a Schedule I drug—a class of drugs that are considered to have NO medicinal value.

1976: The Federal Governments recognizes that marijuana has medicinal use. The Investigational New Drug (Compassionate Use) Program (IND) is created to allow Robert Randall to use marijuana to treat his glaucoma. Other patients enroll and also receive 300 rolled marijuana cigarettes per month to treat their conditions.

1978: Individual states begin recognizing marijuana as useful medicine. New Mexico becomes the first state to create a medical marijuana program.

1980: Marinol, a synthetic version of THC is fast-tracked as a prescription medicine, primarily for AIDS and cancer patients.

1990sScientists discover two types of Cannabinoid receptors in the human brain (CB1 and CB2 ) which buffer the effects of THC.

1992: Scientists Discover Endocannabinoids –your body’s natural cannabinoid system. The ECS controls central and peripheral nervous system functions, energy intake, processing and storage, the immune response, reproduction and cell fate production system. New era for medical research begins!ECS neurons

1999: The IND program is shut down to new applicants (by President Ronald Reagan) after too many (hundreds of) patients applied. Although officially terminated, the 13 remaining patients continue to receive government-issued marijuana

2000: Hawaii Legislators recognize that marijuana is medicine and create the Medical Marijuana Program.  Qualifying conditions include: cancer, glaucoma, HIV (+) status, chronic or debilitating disease: Severe pain, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), severe & persistent muscle spasms (from Multiple Sclerosis or Crohn’s Disease), severe weakness, malnutrition or weight loss (wasting syndrome & cachexia).

2003: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services receives Cannabinoids Patent (patent (US 6,630,507 B1)  for the therapeutic use of “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, suggesting it may be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

TODAY (2015): MANY MEDICAL PRACTICES INCLUDE

MARIJUANA AS A MEDICINE

In Israel, cannabis therapy is incorporated into clinical, hospital, and nursing home settings. In Canada, physicians can approve a specific amount of cannabis for their patients which is delivered to their home. There are TEN PHARMACEUTICAL drugs based on chemicals found in the cannabis plant.

In the United States: 23 States have medical marijuana programs. The Department of Health assumed administration of Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana program, making improvements immediately.

Health Care Professionals are attempting to educate other Health Care Professionals and Patients. This includes the work of the  Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the American Cannabis Nursing Association, and the United Patients Group.

So, NOW if anybody still wonders if you think that Marijuana is really medicine—please tell them that this question was answered a very LONG time AGO…. and please help them find educational resources (like this article).

 

Wanted: Medical Marijuana Dispensary System for Hawaii

 

Do YOU think that having a Medical Marijuana Dispensary System for qualified patients in Hawaii is a good idea?

You are certainly not alone.

The State of Hawaii Auditor’s conclusion is a resounding “YES we do”. One of the reasons: to protect the public from potential harm. The auditor recognizes that the current system forces patients to either grow their own or seek out black markets. The Auditor’s report (a Sunrise Analysis) reviewed the need and explains the potential benefits of having a medical marijuana dispensary—if a bill is passed.

The Auditor explained:

“Because the sale of marijuana is illegal under state law, there is no place within the state to legally obtain marijuana, which forces qualifying medical marijuana patients to either grow their own (MMJ) or seek out black market products,” the report reads. “For this overriding reason, we conclude that regulation of dispensaries is needed to protect the public from potential harm.”

The report goes on to say that without a system of regulated dispensaries, “patients’ health is jeopardized because a product’s strength, strain and lack of contaminants cannot be verified”

The AUDITORS full report can be viewed at the Public Policy Center at UH Manoa website.

If you read the whole report it refers to House Bill 1587 (a 2014 bill which didn’t pass). The findings are still very important, especially for legislators when reviewing a dispensary bill which WILL be introduced in 2015.

The content of the bill will be based on recommendations by the (HCR-48) Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force members who have been working on this for several months.

You can see the minutes from past meetings HERE.

One of the Dispensary Task Force members, State Senator Josh Green, M.D., (D-Kona), who chairs the Senate Health Committee, offered this hopeful sentiment to West Hawaii Today:

He said that he is confident a [dispensary] bill will pass and it will be signed by Governor David Ige. He also offered that “The program needs to be very tightly regulated . . . And, it should be about the patients who need it the most having access.”

This is encouraging to those working on making medical marijuana dispensaries a reality.

 Want to know more?

ON December 16, 2014, You can watch the DISPENSARY TASK FORCE in action when they meet to give their recommendations–at the State Capitol (9-11 A.M.).

 

 

Medical Marijuana Certifications Need to be RENEWED BEFORE December 15, 2014

The State of Hawaii Department of Health has not assumed management of the Medical Marijuana program yet–but sent this notice for Qualified Medical Marijuana Users.

DOH MM prgm logoDEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
DAVID IGE
GOVERNOR
KEITH YAMAMOTO
ACTING DIRECTOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    Dec. 2, 2014

QUALIFIED MEDICAL MARIJUANA USERS URGED TO RENEW THEIR CERTIFICATION BEFORE DEC. 12, 2014

BLACKOUT PERIOD PLANNED FROM DEC. 12 – 31

AS PROGRAM TRANSITIONS TO HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
 

HONOLULU – Hawaii patients whose medical marijuana certification is expiring by the end of December are urged to renew their certification with the Department of Public Safety before Dec. 12, 2014.

A patient with a debilitating medical condition must obtain a signed physician’s medical statement that the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient before applying for a written certification from the Department of Public Safety.

The medical marijuana program has been in operation for 14 years and, as required in Act 177, is being transferred to the Department of Health, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

There will be a planned blackout period from Dec. 12 to 31, 2014 in which no certifications will be issued to prepare for this transition.

Although federal law prohibits the use of marijuana, Hawaii is one of 23 states and the District of Columbia that has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, acknowledging the health benefits of medical marijuana use.

Certifications are good for 12 months and are issued on an annual basis. Patients must possess a current certification that allows lawful cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for medical purposes. This certification must be available to law enforcement officials at any time to avoid potential legal action. The Department of Health will honor all current Department of Public Safety medical marijuana certifications through their expiration date.

The current registration fee to receive a medical marijuana card from the Department of Public Safety is $25. In keeping with Act 177, commencing Jan. 1, 2015 medical marijuana applications will be submitted through an online process to the Department of Health and the registration fee will increase to $38.50 including the portal fee. Online payment will be available and is encouraged for faster services.

For questions about the transition, patients may call the Medical Marijuana Information Hotline for recorded messages at 733-2177.

Toll free numbers have also been established for neighbor island residents: Hawaii Island residents may call 974-4000, ext. 32177; Maui residents may call 984-2400, ext. 32177; and Kauai residents may call 274-3141, ext. 32177.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the new Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Program’s website at health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana.

 

International drug law reform expert to speak in Honolulu 11/1/13

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii is co-founder of the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii – congratulations on 20 years serving Hawaii!

“Celebrating 20 Years of Science, Reason and Compassion ”

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i’s 20th Anniversary Event
Friday, November 1, 2013
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Kapi`olani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Road
Ohelo Building ~ Ka`ikena Laua`e Room

HONOLULU – Thursday, October 17, 2013 – In the last twenty years, Hawai`i has enacted drug policy reforms on issues ranging from medical marijuana to treatment-instead-of-incarceration for nonviolent drug law violations with the support of the voters and the legislature. Join us to celebrate the work of those individuals and organizations that have tirelessly worked towards drug policy based on concern for human dignity, effective outcomes, public health considerations, and the well-being of individuals and communities.

Speaking will be Ethan Nadelmann Ph.D., JD., Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance – The Nation’s Premiere Drug Policy Organization . Mr. Nadelmann’s talk will be on “Ending the War on Drugs: Are We Really at the Tipping Point? ”

For more than two decades, Nadelmann helped build a broad-based movement for reform on the strength of a strategic insight that’s both simple and profound: The fight against repressive drug laws isn’t about championing the rights of drug users – even of a substance as popular as marijuana. It’s about fighting against federal overreach and the needless human toll of drug prohibition. Read more about Ethan at:http://dpfhi.org/2013/06/14/the-most-influential-man-in-the-battle-for-legalization-is-a-wonky-intellectual-in-dad-jeans/.

The dinner will also honor Professor of Law Emeritus and former Dean, University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law, Richard “Dick” Miller. Miller has never shied away from the new or the controversial. He arrived in Hawai`i to help establish the new law school at UH in 1973 and in 1993, 20 years later, he was one of the first Board members of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i. His guidance and sharp legal mind is still a beacon for the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i in the roiling seas known as the war on drugs.

Tickets are $50 at the door and include a full dinner buffet and desserts. Limited seating is still available for the November 1 event. For further information, or to reserve a seat, please RSVP to info@dpfhi.org or call (808) 988-4386 .

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii was founded in 1993 and remains Hawai`i’s voice
for pragmatic drug policies that minimize economic, social, and human costs.
http://www.dpfhi.org

Hnl Civil Beatʻs Chad Blair: Itʻs High Time to Legalize Pot

http://www.civilbeat.com/posts/2013/09/30/20015-chad-blair-its-high-time-to-legalize-pot/ (no login needed)

“Hawaii is one of 20 states along with the District of Columbia that have made legal the use of medical marijuana, although the program has been imperfect. This year, however, the Hawaii Legislature took a major step in recognizing that med pot is about health needs and not law enforcement when it transferred control of the state’s program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.”