Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed legislation into law expanding patient’s access to medical marijuana and cannabis-infused products, and allowing out-of-state patients to purchase the medicine from the state’s dispensaries.
House Bill 2729 permits out-of-state patients to access medical cannabis through the state’s dispensaries. It also permits regulators to certify patients’ recommendations for up to a three-year period, and allows for physicians to make recommendations to patients via telehealth conferencing. The measure also permits licensed dispensaries to sell cartridges to patients containing cannabis extracts and oils. The law took effect upon passage.
Governor Ige unfortunately vetoed separate cannabis-related legislation – Senate Bill 2407 – which would have allowed physicians to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients as a substitute for opioids or to treat symptoms of opioid-related withdrawal. The Governor indicated that the responsibility of adding new eligible conditions ought to be left up to the Health Department, not lawmakers.
Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana. They did so in 2000, just four years after California became the first state to do so.