Becoming a Patient in Hawaii

Summary

A doctor may recommend marijuana to a seriously ill patient, providing the patient with protection from criminal conviction for marijuana use under Hawaii law. Hawaii also has a registry ID card system for patients which should ordinarily prevent a patient from being arrested for marijuana use. A primary caregiver may help a medical marijuana patient cultivate and ingest their medicine.

What's Legal

The law allows a patient to have three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana per each mature plant. These limitations apply to the total amount of medicine possessed between a patient and caregiver.

Eligible Conditions

Patients may use marijuana to treat the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease
  • Any other medical condition approved by the department of health

Application Process

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above shown conditions and wish to become a registered medical marijuana patient in Hawaii, you should do the following:

  1. Ask your doctor to request a written certification form from the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety at (808) 837-8470;
  2. Send the completed certification form along with a copy of the your photo ID and a check for the registration fee ($25 for you as patient plus $25 for your caregiver if you have one) to the following address:
     Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) 
    3375 Koapaka St., Suite D-100 
    Honolulu, HI 96819

Doctor

A licensed physician may recommend marijuana. This recommendation is essential for becoming a patient in Hawaii. A recommendation from a physician's assistant will not protect you under Hawaii law!

Access/ Caregivers

As a patient, you may cultivate marijuana. You may also designate a caregiver to assist you in cultivating marijuana. You and your caregiver are allowed to cultivate a total of up to three mature marijuana plants and four immature marijuana plants.

Consumption

The Hawaii medical marijuana law does not allow a patient to medicate if it in any way endangers the health or well-being of another person. Nor does the law allow you to medicate in a moving vehicle, in the workplace, on school grounds, in a public place, in a correctional facility, or in any state monitored facility.

Age Limits

If you are a minor, you need a statement by your parent or guardian that your doctor has explained the risks and benefits of marijuana. Also, your parent or guardian has to be your primary caregiver and needs to control your possession and use of marijuana.

Confidentiality

The department of public safety will verify whether the particular qualifying patient has registered with the department when asked by a law enforcement agency. The department may also provide access to the registry information for official law enforcement purposes. If a patient has any questions regarding the confidentiality of their status as a medical marijuana patient, they should contact the Dept. of Public Safety at (808)-837-8470.

Housing

The law says nothing explicit about housing rights for patients or designated providers. However, the Hawaii medical marijuana law does say that if you meet the requirements of the law, then you "shall not be penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege," for the medical use of marijuana.

We believe this means that, under state law, a qualifying patient or caregiver may not lose their right to housing as a result of legally using or providing medical marijuana. Please remember, though, that while our belief that you are protected is based on our reading of the statute and case law, there is no existing Hawaii case law that specifically addresses the (non-federally-funded) housing rights of patients.

If you live in housing funded by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Hawaii law will not protect you and you may be subject to eviction, as medical marijuana is not protected under federal law.

Employment

The Hawaii medical marijuana law does not require your employer to accommodate your use of marijuana in the workplace.

Insurance

The laws do not require insurance coverage for the medical use of marijuana.

Reciprocity

Hawaii does not currently recognize medical marijuana certifications from other states. If you are not a certified medical marijuana patient in Hawaii, you are not protected as a patient in Hawaii, even if you are protected in other states.

For more information

Hawaii Dept of Public Safety's Narcotics Enforcement Division
3375 Koapaka Street, Suite D-100 
Honolulu, HI 96819 
Phone: 808-837-8470 
Fax: 808-837-8474

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0329/HRS_0329-0121.htm Text of the medical marijuana law

http://www.dpfhi.org/ resource for information about Hawaii drug policy and medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Patient Information Packet