Category Archives: events

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

Kauai Talk Story–You’re Invited–This Saturday

The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii would like to invite you (and your friends) to a special event on Kauai (in Lihue)!

KauaiWe are hosting a “Talk Story” session. It’s free!

(And, we will provide light refreshments and drinks)

All are invited to attend – if you have colleagues/friends/family that are caregivers, patients or doctors, they are more than welcome to attend.

In this 2-hour session you will be given information about:

  1. The newest changes made to the medical marijuana (cannabis) program.
  2. What is happening with legislative efforts (getting a dispensary system is one of them).

We will discuss what bills may be introduced and we would like to hear your thoughts about that– as we move forward with improving the medical cannabis laws here in Hawai‘i.

YOUR INVITATION

When: Saturday, January 24, 2015        Time: 1 pm – 3 pm

Cost: Free!

What: Talk Story: A chance to ask about Hawaii‘s medical cannabis laws and Legislative Updates.

The information panel is : Rafael Kennedy, (Director) and Wendy Gibson, R.N. (Organizer) from the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.

Where: Lihue Public Library–4344 Hardy Street—between Kaana & Umi Street.

Please contact the Medical Cannabis Coalition if you have questions at (808) 853-3231 or e-mail at info@mcchi.org.

All of our meetings are 100% confidential—but open to the public—so no video, photography or sound recordings please.

  • Mahalo and we look forward to seeing you on January 24th !

HEARINGS start on January 28th for Proposed Administrative Rules Changes–Medical Marijuana Program

save the dateSince Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Program has been transferred from the Department of Safety to the care of the Department of Health (DOH), the Administrative Rules MUST be changed.

THE DOH posted a Notice of Public Hearing for DOH Administrative Rules on December 20, 2014. Links to the entire DOH notice are below.

Some highlights of the notice:

The public hearings are scheduled to start January 28, 2015 on the Big Island (Hilo) and will continue on Oahu February 2nd, on Maui February 3rd and on Kauai February 5th.

 

The TOPICS WILL include administrative rules and the procedures for :

** Application processing, registrations, monitoring, and disciplinary actions.

** Maintaining confidentiality for patients and caregivers.

** Petitioning to add a disease or health condition to the list of qualifying  conditions.

**  Physician requirements for issuing written certifications and maintaining medical records.

 

Please NOTE: Topics will NOT include the medical marijuana dispensary system or the task force recommendations.

The DISPENSARY IS A SEPARATE ISSUE and and the way to give your input for that is through the legislative process –which starts ON January 21, 2015.

 

Also note that these RULES are required to implement the EXISTING LAWS and CANNOT CHANGE any element of it (for instance they cannot increase plant limits).

 

The public does have an opportunity to weigh in (details are BELOW) and all of your comments, positive or negative are equally important and encouraged.

 

Once all of the administrative rules are approved, the proposed changes can be officially implemented. These include initiating a process for DOH to add NEW CONDITIONS and improving the program by implementing a fully-electronic system.Clock

 

Please realize that ADMINISTRATIVE RULE making is cumbersome, time-consuming and requires going through many bureaucratic hoops. It can take many months to finalize the rules, especially if substantive changes are made.

 

 

Excerpt from the Public Hearing Notice:

Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 91, notice is hereby given that the Department of Health (DOH) will hold a public hearing for the proposed adoption of Chapter 11-160, Hawaii Administrative Rules, Medical Use of Marijuana.

This proposed new chapter would establish the medical marijuana program at DOH, including A NEW process for DOH to approve debilitating medical conditions, physician requirements to participate in the medical marijuana program, registration of qualifying patients and primary caregivers, monitoring and corrective action, administrative procedure, and confidentiality of information.

 

 

HEARING DATES and LOCATIONS:

Big Island–Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Time:10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Place: State Office Building, Conference rooms A, B and C 75 Aupuni St. Hilo, Hawaii, HI 96720

 

Oahu--Date: Monday, February 2, 2015 Time:10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Place: Diamond Head Health Center 3627 Kilauea Ave.,Room 418 Honolulu, HI 96816

 

Maui— Date:Tuesday, February 3, 2015 Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Place: State Office Building 54 South High Street, Third Floor Conference Room, Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793

 

Kauai — Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015 Time: 10:30 to noon

Place: State Office Building 3060 Eiwa St., Basement Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766

 

All WRITTEN testimony must be received no later than February 6, 2015, at 4:30 p.m.

 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY– All interested persons shall be afforded the opportunity to submit testimony, orally and/or in writing, on the proposed administrative rules at the time of the public hearing. Persons who are not able to attend the public hearing may submit written testimony to DOH: by mail at: 4348 Waialae Avenue, #648, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816; or by email at medicalmarijuana@doh.hawaii.gov

 

Any person requiring a special accommodation (e.g., assistance of a sign language interpreter) at the public hearing shall file a request with DOH by email at medicalmarijuana@doh.hawaii.gov  or by calling (808) 733-9010 or via relay, at least ten business days before the public hearing.

 

To see more information on the hearing, please click Public Hearing Notice.

To read the proposed rules, please click Proposed Administrative Rules.

 

 

EVENT: Talk Story January 17th in Waianae: You’re Invited

The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii would like to invite you (and your friends) to a special event in Waianae.

We are hosting a “Talk Story” session.

It’s free! And, we will provide light refreshments and drinks.

ID-100249180

All are invited to attend – if you have colleagues/friends/family that are caregivers, patients or doctors, they are more than welcome to attend. In this 2-hour session you will be given information about:

  1. The newest changes made to the medical marijuana (cannabis) program,
  2. What is happening with efforts to get a dispensary system.

We will discuss what bills may be introduced and we would like to hear your thoughts about them– as we move forward with improving the medical cannabis laws here in Hawai‘i.

YOUR INVITATION

When: Saturday, January 17, 2015        

Time: 1 pm – 3 pm            Cost: Free!

What: Talk Story: A chance to ask about Hawaii‘s medical cannabis laws and Legislative Updates. The information panel is: Rafael Kennedy, (Director) and Wendy Gibson, R.N. (Organizer) from the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.

Where: Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center,  86-260 Farrington Highway, Waianae.

Directions: From Farrington Highway, turn onto Mailiilii Rd (a Stoplight).

Just past the Bus stop turn LEFT, at the Main Entrance–down the long driveway and park.

Go up the ramp to the 2nd floor of the Administration Building.

Please contact the Medical Cannabis Coalition if you have questions at  (808) 853-3231 or e-mail at info@mcchi.org.

All of our meetings are 100% confidential—but open to the public—so no video, photography or sound recordings please.

Mahalo and we look forward to seeing you on January 17th !

  • SAVE THE DATE
  • 2015 JANUARY
    SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
            1 2 3
           
    4 5 6 7 8 9 10
                 
    11 12 13 14 15 16 17   Talk Story 1-3p

     

Review of Medical Cannabis For Seniors Presentation

Thank you to everyone who attended the “Medical Cannabis for             Seniors” Presentation on Saturday, October 25th.

For those of you who missed it, here’s a summary of what medical cannabis IS and what it IS NOT.

Simply stated: Medical cannabis is not about getting high, it IS about getting well. This presentation focused on learning how to use your medicine if you qualify to be a patient in the Medical Marijuana program of Hawaii.

The audience was treated to an entertaining history of cannabis use from ancient times to current times. Cannabis Indica as medicine

It was complete with photos of cannabis preparations that were available in apothecaries in the United States from about 1850 to 1937.

 

It included the story of how marijuana became illegal in the first place–A decision based on racist agendas and misconceptions propagated by the media rather than science.

Because patients are only allowed to grow their own medicine in Hawaii, the presenter covered the importance of having only virgin FEMALE plants, explaining how pollination by the male plants can ruin the entire crop. He covered the differences between the SATIVA and the INDICA plants and gave an overview of the different cannabinoids (Say “can-NAB-in-noids”) found in cannabis including THC and CBD.

More on CBD  can be found by clicking here:  http://www.hempforfuture.com/2014/04/19/cannabidiol-cbd-fighting-inflammation-aggressive-forms-of-cancer/

We learned about some of the physical healing properties as well as the mental healing properties of cannabis. Our presenter pointed out the differences between using the raw forms vs. the heated and aged forms of cannabis. Some people were surprised at all of the many ways that patients can use cannabis as medicine, including a suppository form which may bring the medicine closer to affected part.

He explained the golden rules of learning how to use the medicine which are: to start out with very small doses and to slowly increase dosages by very small increments over time.

The presenter encouraged people to learn more about cannabis as medicine and gave suggestions on some resources including using Google (+ a diagnosis) searches, some books and the Medical Use of Marijuana booklet –Click here to see Booklet http://medicalcannabiscoalitionhi.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/mmj_booklet_2008_2on1.pdf

We hope that you can make it to the next presentation, or any of our other upcoming events.

Click  HERE  to find out more about events

If you would like to have the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii make a presentation to your group, please contact us by e-mail at info@mcchi.org or phone us at (808) 469-5249.

Have a safe Halloween!

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