Hawaii Medical Marijuana Card
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Every state in the U.S. has its own laws and regulations on medical marijuana. As far as laws go, Hawaii is among the most progressive with its MMJ allowances and especially their out-of-state reciprocity. To properly follow the laws and benefit from the effects of medical marijuana, you have to understand what is required in the state of Hawaii.
In the guide below, we’ll cover everything that you need to know.
Getting a Hawaii Medical Marijuana Card
In Hawaii, getting a medical marijuana card is not a difficult process. A Hawaii medical card can be obtained by anyone who has a qualifying condition, or a caregiver of someone with a qualifying condition.
The Medical Cannabis Registry Program has been in place since 2000 when the laws were first passed. Updates have been made to the law over time, but the language remains generally the same as it was back in 2000.
Those wishing to obtain a Hawaii medical marijuana card will need to ensure that they know how to do so, including how to find a physician to diagnose the qualifying condition, where to go for licensing, what the laws actually consider “legal,” and so forth. Let’s start by taking a look at the current medical legalization set forth by the state of Hawaii.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Hawaii?
As of June 2000, the Hawaii Medical Marijuana Act was established as a part of Senate Bill 862. Essentially, it removed the criminal penalties for using, possessing, or cultivating marijuana for qualifying patients.
Essentially, those with a medical marijuana license cannot be punished at the state level for the possession of marijuana or the cultivation of a certain number of plants.
As far as state law goes, cannabis is not allowed to be possessed, cultivated, distributed, used, or transported in any public places, including parks and beaches, inside moving vehicles, and in places of employment. It must be sealed and not visible to the public when it is being transported from the dispensary to your home.
Most importantly, cannabis is not allowed to be transported to other islands by registered patients and caregivers. You have to use the cannabis on the island where it is purchased. This also applies to those who hold a Hawaii out-of-state medical card, which we’ll discuss in detail a little later in the article.
Hawaii Medical Marijuanas Laws
In Hawaii, the medical marijuanas laws outline very clearly what is and isn’t legal in the state under the mandate. Currently, patients can possess up to four ounces of usable marijuana and as many as seven plants at various stages of maturity.
This marijuana must be obtained from a licensed state dispensary and it must not be transported between islands, as mentioned above, so be sure to find a dispensary on the island where you live before you register.
The laws have been becoming more progressive over the years, adding more opportunities for dispensaries and cultivation facilities, as well as providing better access for out-of-state patients and providing easier to understand language in many areas of the legal code.
Registration fees have gone up slightly, but they’re still quite affordable compared to many states.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Hawaii
The state of Hawaii has a list of qualifying conditions that is similar to many other states with medical marijuana laws in place. There is even a petition process in place for those who want to submit another condition for consideration by the state. As it stands, the current list of qualifying conditions includes:
- ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
In reference to the language regarding “treatment of these conditions” and “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or its treatment” refers to anything that produces symptoms like:
- Wasting syndrome (Cachexia)
- Severe nausea
- Severe pain
- Seizures (including epilepsy)
- Conditions causing severe and persistent muscle spasms (i.e. MS, Crohn’s, etc.)
How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Hawaii
If you have one of these qualifying conditions in the state of Hawaii, you will need to visit a Certifying Provider or a medical provider that can diagnose and certify you as having one of the above conditions and being eligible for medical marijuana in the state.
Providers are charged with proving a provider/patient relationship so that you can’t just walk into any doctor and walk out with a recommendation.
Once you have the certified recommendation, you can use the state’s Online Portal to apply for and pay for your medical marijuana license. You will need to send in or upload documentation, as well as provide the contact information for the referring prescriber.
Then, your card will be issued and you will be able to visit dispensaries and make purchases of medical marijuana for personal use.
Medical Marijuanas Card Cost
Initially, it cost $25 to pay the registration fee for a medical marijuana card. Over time, the state decided to raise the fee to help cover the costs of the program and other regulatory authorities.
However, even now, it’s just $35 to register and get a medical marijuana card in Hawaii when you are a resident of the state.
When it comes time for renewal, you will have to make an additional $35 payment along with your renewal application. You will also need to provide updated medical documents and prove that you still have a qualifying condition.
Those who are struggling to enroll or access the website can also ask their medical provider for assistance or contact the Registry directly.
Open Dispensaries Near Me
There are not going to be any results if you search for recreational dispensaries near me. However, if you are looking for a legal medical marijuana dispensary near me, you’ll have a lot of options on all the major islands: Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii (the “Big Island).
There are currently two dispensaries on the Big Island that have six locations throughout Kailua, Kona, and Hilo. Maui has two dispensaries in Kahului, and on Kauai, you’ll find Green Aloha in Kapaa. Oahu offers three options for dispensaries:
- Cure Oahu in Honolulu
- Noa Botanicals in Honolulu, Kaneohe, and Aiea
- Aloha Green Apothecary with two locations in Honolulu
At the time of this writing, there are a total of fifteen (15) dispensary locations on the four major islands, giving residents (and out-of-state visitors) plenty of options for finding the medical cannabis that they need. it’s a good idea to check dispensary hours and operating procedures before you go so that you’re familiar with the process before you arrive.
Growing Medical Marijuana in Hawaii
Hawaii is one of few states that has included growing medical marijuana in its law for legalization. According to the Act, patients or caregivers may possess as much as three ounces of ready-to-use marijuana, and they may also cultivate up to seven marijuana plants.
Only three of those plants can be mature, which means the rest need to be non-flowering (also sometimes called vegetating).
The methods of growing and cultivating marijuana for personal use are not specified within the current law, so it would appear that people can grow their plants however they decide works best for them.
If there are questions, people can contact the Hawaii Department of Health to get the exact details of growing laws and requirements in the state.
Hawaii Medical Marijuana Caretaking Laws
Caretakers are allowed to register with medical marijuana patients in a couple of different scenarios. The caretaker will then be the one responsible for obtaining the medical marijuana on behalf of the qualifying patient. A caregiver can be a parent or legal guardian of a minor patient that has a qualifying condition.
Caretakers can also be assigned to (or chosen by) those who are given an MMJ card in Hawaii but who are mentally or physically incapable of obtaining their own medical marijuana from the dispensary.
You can find more information on caregivers and how to register as one on the Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program.
Does Hawaii Accept Out-of-State MMJ Cards?
As of 2019, Hawaii put a new system into effect that allows out-of-state patients to automatically obtain a 60-day MMJ card in Hawaii so that they can purchase medical cannabis. This card is valid at certified dispensaries throughout the state and is available to anyone that has been certified as a qualifying patient in their home state.
The electronic registration program can be applied for up to 60 days in advance of travel, and marijuana still cannot be transported on planes and other transportation. Since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, any marijuana purchased while in Hawaii must be consumed before your departure.
Those who attempt to take any marijuana out of the state (or bring in any with them) will be held accountable to state and federal possession and interstate transportation laws.
Hawaii remains one of the most progressive states for medical marijuana, including its offering for out-of-state patients. It’s also one of the first states that issues a fully electronic registration and doesn’t require a physical “card” or in-person visits to become qualified.