Hawai'i Legal Information
In 2000, Hawaii passed SB 862 HD1, making Hawaii the first state to legalize medical cannabis via the legislature as opposed to voter initiative.
The legislature amended the law in 2013 with two bills. HB 668 moved the medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health and established a Medical Marijuana Registry special fund. SB 642 redefined “adequate supply,” “medical use,” “primary caregiver,” “usable marijuana,” and “written certification.” SB 642 amends registration requirements and creates a mechanism for law enforcement to immediately verify registration status 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Registered medical cannabis patients and their registered caregivers may possess up to three ounces of usable cannabis and cultivate up to seven plants. Registered patients and caregivers are entitled to an affirmative defense in court.
In 2015, the legislature passed two more bills that greatly expanded the medical cannabis program. HB 321 created a program allowing 8 medical marijuana dispensaries with two cultivation licenses each and allows more to be licensed in 2017. SB 1291 clarified anti-discrimination protections for patients.
In 2016, the legislature passed HB 2707 which created a legislative oversight group to monitor the program and report back to the legislature before 2018 legislative session. The bill also expanded recommending power to advance practice-registered nurses and expanded the allowed delivery methods and protections for paraphernalia. HB 2707 also extended transportation protections to facilitate transportation to certified laboratories.
In 2017, Governor David Ige (D) signed a bill (HB 1488) which increased the number of plants a qualified patient or caregiver from seven to ten, added rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis as qualifying conditions, permitted qualified patients to access laboratory testing, and allowed patients with mobility issues to be delivered their medicine.
In This Section
Patients may designate a caregiver to assist with acquiring, cultivating and using medical cannabis.
In June of 2000, Hawaii passed SB 862 HD1, making Hawaii the first state to legalize medical use cannabis via the legislature, as opposed to voter initiative. The law is codified as Hawaii Revised Statutes §329-121 et seq.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.
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.
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be licensed under Chapters 453 and 460, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and licensed with authority to prescribe drugs and is registered under section 329-32, Hawaii Revised Statutes.