Category Archives: Patients

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.

 

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).

 

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.

 

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.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reverses position on MMJ, upcoming special: Weed

Watch the special, “Weed” on Sunday, 8/11/13: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2013/08/05/gupta-weed-promo.cnn

 

Read the article: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

In a stunning and personal reversal of his long-held skepticism of the health benefits of cannabis, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN apologizes for spreading “misinformation” and supports real, independent research on medical cannabis.

“I am here to apologize.

I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.”

“Looking forward, I am especially intrigued by studies like those in Spain and Israel looking at the anti-cancer effects of marijuana and its components. I’m intrigued by the neuro-protective study by Lev Meschoulam in Israel, and research in Israel and the United States on whether the drug might help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. I promise to do my part to help, genuinely and honestly, fill the remaining void in our knowledge.”

Illinois becomes 20th state to legalize medical marijuana

Hawaii welcomes Illinois to the now 40% of U.S. states with a program for safe access to marijuana by sick and dying people. Illinois, like Hawaii, passed this measure legislatively, which can be more tricky than referendum, due to the intense lobbying and political will required of advocates and legislators. Well done! the Illinois program includes a tightly regulated dispensary system, something the Hawaii program, though established in 2000, still lacks – a terrible “catch-22” for our patients who can get a medical marijuana recommendation, but have no way to get their medicine without finding seeds (which are illegal) and growing it themselves or resorting to the black market. The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii and allies  will keep fighting for safe, legal access to medical marijuana in Hawaii, including a sensible dispensary system.

ChicagoTriblogo

Gov. Pat Quinn took a moment to speak at the University of Chicago before signing Illinois’ new medical marijuana bill, saying it was an “important day, I think, for healing” in the state.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-quinn-to-sign-medical-marijuana-bill-thursday-20130731,0,6053984.story

Upcoming FAQ on MMJ Law updates, your input requested

The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii is developing a “frequently asked questions” section about the two new bills (HB 668/Act 177 and SB 642/Act 178), both of which do not take effect until right after New Year, 2015.

The ink is still drying on these bills, and weʻre asking peopleʻs continued patience with the process as they are now (slowly) turned into new rules and systems by the Department of Health.

This “administrative rule making process” is subject to public input and scrutiny – and we will track it closely.  Specifically, we are aware of emerging concerns surrounding the “primary care physician” (“PCP”) clause in the recently signed SB 642, and the impact this would have on patients. The rule making process is where we will work to ensure that such as-yet unclarified terms like “PCP” are resolved in the most patient-centered and inclusive way.

Questions or ideas? Please email info@mcchi.org

Please keep sharing your concerns with us. We will try to address these in the upcoming FAQ section, and are planning to continue the inter-island “listening tour” with Hawaiiʻs patients that we began in 2012 to hear more from you all directly as we continue on the road to an ever-better medical marijuana program in Hawaii.

Bills to improve patient privacy and safe access to medical marijuana become law

State_of_Hawaii_sealAdvocates call measures a “significant first step” to modernize Hawaii’s thirteen year-old medical marijuana law

(Honolulu, 6/25/2013) Patient advocates celebrated the signing of two bills to improve Hawaii’s 13 year-old medical marijuana program – the first updates to pass the legislature since the program began. Approved today were measures to move program oversight away from the Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division (“NED”) and to the Department of Health (“DOH”), and to adjust the type and amount of medical marijuana a patient can legally possess.

HB 668 CD1 moves oversight of the program to the DOH, a move welcomed by advocates as both symbolic and substantive. HB 668 will go into effect January 1, 2015, giving time for the transition between departments to occur.

SB 642 CD1 increases the amount of medical marijuana a patient or caregiver can grow and possess. Lawmakers also added a provision requiring that only a patient’s primary care physician can certify them for eligibility, but later clarified that people covered in the Federal system (e.g. military dependents at Tripler) and those seeing specialist physicians will still have access to Hawaii’s medical marijuana program. This measure will also take effect in 2015 – one day later than HB 688.

Representative Della Au Belatti, who advocated strongly for the bills, said: “Today’s bills represent a significant step forward in improving Hawaii’s medical marijuana program and aligning it with best practices of medical cannabis programs in other states.  By refocusing the program on medical matters such as the role of the primary physician and the role of the Department of Health in providing regulation and program oversight, the State can better ensure the compassionate treatment of people suffering from debilitating health conditions.”

The policy shift is part of a serious discussion on the future of marijuana law in the Islands, mirroring reforms happening around the country. Bills to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol and to remove criminal penalties for adult use garnered unprecedented public support and legislative interest and received hearings, but were ultimately shelved until 2014 with no final votes taken.

Hawaii’s medical marijuana program enjoys very strong public support. Respected local polling firm QMark Research was commissioned to conduct a statewide, statistically significant poll of 600 Hawaii voters. The poll occurred between November 19 and December 4, 2012. Among its findings:

  • 81% of Hawaii voters support access to medical marijuana by sick and dying people under a doctor’s care.
  • 78% of Hawaii voters support a dispensary system for medical marijuana.

Pam Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group, said: “While Hawaii still has important work ahead in updating our medical marijuana program, these bills are a significant first step. The emergence of legislative champions for medical marijuana like Senators Will Espero and Josh Green and Representative Della Au Belatti shows that lawmakers recognize the broad public support among voters. We look forward to working with the 2014 legislature to establish state-regulated dispensaries, and to make additional patient-centered improvements to the Hawaii program.”

Vanessa Chong, Executive Director of the ACLU of Hawaii, added: “In 2000, Hawaii led the nation as the first state to legislatively establish our medical marijuana program. Now, a total of 18 states plus Washington, D.C. have programs. Finally, 13 years down the road, Hawaii is moving toward patient-focused policies and away from a law enforcement approach. These bills do not address every concern, but are the first real steps toward a more sensible public policy — we are encouraged and will redouble our efforts next legislative session.”

Patients, doctors and caregivers are urged to join the confidential support network “The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii” founded by the Drug Policy Action Group and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and follow the latest news at www.mcchi.org.