Today the Hawai‘i State Department of Health posted Vol 1, No. 1 of its new periodical, the “Medical Marijuana Update” – dedicated to “Ensuring Hawai‘i’s registered patients have access to safe medical marijuana products through an efficient system of responsible, licensed dispensaries.”

This first newsletter, dated February 2017, contains two short articles:

  • Seed-to-Sale Tracking System: Another Major Step Forward to Improve Patient Access

This article details the BioTrackTHC implementation of the State’s seed-to-sale tracking system; provides interesting insights into the safety mindset of the Department; and looks at the steps the dispensaries will need to take to fully utilize the system and comply with the current regulations.

  • State Laboratories Division Facilitating Lab Certifications to Avoid Putting Patients at Risk

This article details the direction and emphasis of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division as it works with the applying laboratories to certify that any laboratory meets rigorous international standards for good laboratory practice.  The article discusses the time it will take to ensure that the laboratories and testing standards are appropriately established to ensure patient safety.

The newsletter also contains a couple of interesting tidbits about the mindset of DOH and the current administration towards the industry.

  • One small box emphasizes the Governor’s statements from earlier this month that the administration wants to have an operational medical marijuana dispensary program in place prior to making modifications to existing laws or introducing new ones. The administration believes that the changes to the law proposed by the nearly 45 different medical marijuana bills introduced this session may be premature and will divert attention away from creating a successful program to serve Hawai‘i’s patients.
  • A second box addresses DOH’s potential timeline for overcoming the next roadblock to operational dispensaries. Reiterating Office of Health Care Assurance Chief Keith Ridley’s comments at the last Legislative Working Group meeting, DOH states that the next step is connecting BioTrackTHC to the patient registry system to monitor patient purchase amounts and access to dispensaries. DOH gives no specific timeline for the completion of this task, although at the Legislative Working Group Session on January 25, 2017, Mr. Ridley stated that the project was expected to take about eight weeks from that day. Other roadblocks yet remain before dispensaries will be allowed to open, including the certification of a laboratory.

It is the Alliance’s mission to provide up-to-date and relevant industry information to the patients, dispensary applicants, and related businesses of Hawai‘i’s growing medicinal cannabis industry. If you are not yet an Alliance member, join today to receive the HDA Industry Update every month and to take an active role in the future of Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana industry. Contact us today and we will send you the September/October 2016 edition of the HDA Industry Update absolutely free to say thank you for your interest!

DOH Issues First Newsletter Update for Dispensary and Registry Programs