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.