Hawai‘i Gets a “B” for Medical Marijuana Program

By Maui Now

Hawaiʻi Department of Health has received a “B” and was ranked the fifth highest in the nation for its medical marijuana program, based on a recent report card of new, regulated medical marijuana distribution programs issued by Americans for Safe Access.

The national organization’s mission is to reduce barriers to medical cannabis by creating policies to improve access for patients and researchers, using legislation, education, litigation, research and other means.

According to the report card, “Hawaiʻi is on track to become one of the best programs in the country if they continue with their timely implementation.”


The grades ranged from B+ to F-. Hawaiʻi’s “B” grade was based on 430 points out of a total 500, earning a score of 86%. The highest grade of “B+” was awarded to Illinois, with 449 points and an overall score of 89%.

The report used a point system to grade the medical marijuana programs in 44 states, the District of Columbia and US territories Guam and Puerto Rico, based on five criteria:

Patients’ rights and protection from discrimination

  • Access to medicine
  • Ease of navigation
  • Functionality
  • Product safety protocols

Letter-grades for all 44 states and Washington, D.C. where programs were evaluated include the following: Alabama (F-), Alaska (D-), Arizona (B-), Arkansas (B-), California (B+), Colorado (B-), Connecticut (B-), Delaware (C+), Florida (B-), Georgia (F-), Hawaiʻi (B), Illinois (B+), Iowa (F-), Kentucky (F-), Louisiana (F-), Maine (B), Maryland (C), Massachusetts (B-), Michigan (B+), Minnesota (C-), Mississippi (F-), Missouri (F-), Montana (B), Nevada (B), New Hampshire (B-), New Jersey (C), New Mexico (B), New York (C), North Carolina (F-), North Dakota (C), Ohio (B), Oklahoma (F-), Oregon (B), Pennsylvania (B-), Rhode Island (C+), South Carolina (F-), Tennessee (F-), Texas (F-), Utah (F-), Vermont (C-), Virginia (F-), Washington (C-), Wisconsin (F-), Wyoming (F-), and the District of Columbia (B-).

The complete report can be viewed online at the Americans For Safe Access website.