The Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance is pleased to announce that Governor David Ige officially signed HB2707 into law this morning in a public ceremony hosted at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu. Governor Ige’s signature provides further confirmation of the Hawai‘i State government’s commitment to actively managing a medical marijuana dispensary program to the benefit of patients and local economies across the state.
According to Representative Della Au Belatti, Hawai‘i is building a health care, business, and emerging infrastructure that will set Hawaii on a course to be a global leader in medical marijuana research, technology, and patient care. “HB2707 was the only medical marijuana bill to make it through this year’s session and the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance is confident that Representative Belatti’s bill will provide needed clarity for dispensaries and increased protections for patients in the years to come,” said Christopher Garth, Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance.
The Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance is proud to have worked this session to draft the language of HB2707 with the Senators and Representatives in attendance at the signing, including Senate Vice President Will Espero and the Chair of the House Committee on Health, Representative Della Au Belatti. The Senator and Representative spoke encouragingly about the potential of Hawaii’s medical marijuana economy to help patients and bring new economic growth to the state, and they encouraged Hawai‘i’s public and private institutions to work together to invest in new technology development and medical research to make Hawai‘i a global leader in the medical marijuana industry.
Also in attendance were representatives of all eight Hawai‘i’s new dispensaries, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Cancer Center, UH Center for Public Policy, UH Office of Technology Transfer and Development, the UH College of Tropical Agriculture, the Department of Health, Department of Public Safety, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and the Department of Transportation. A number of advocacy groups supporting the measure were in attendance as well including Hawaii Dispensary Alliance allies the Drug Policy Forum Hawaii, Cannabis Cares, and the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawai‘i.
Important elements of the new law include:
- The addition of a definition for “plant” to clarify the 3000 plant limit. A marijuana clone or other sprout only classifies as a plant once it is larger than 12″ in any direction.
- Exemption of certified patients and dispensaries from prosecution for possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Inclusion of normal state business income tax deductions, greatly reducing the tax burden on dispensaries.
- Inclusion of two members of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance on the legislative oversight working group charged with investigating the future of the industry in Hawaii, including the legalization of edibles and any other relevant issue.
Other important elements of the bill include:
- Provisions allowing DBEDT to collect data and make reports on the business side of the industry.
- Inclusion of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses as certifying physicians.
- Transportation exceptions for testing purposes.
- Clarifications allowing for compliant greenhouses.
- Clarifications allowing subcontractors for any ancillary service to contract with more than one dispensary.
- Addition of transdermal patches and pre-filled inhaler or nebulizer cartridges to the list of allowed products.
- Exemption of patients, caregivers, and government officials from background checks before entering a dispensary.
- Provisions authorizing the University of Hawai‘i to fund and develop a research program into the medical uses of marijuana.
Thank you to Hawai‘i’s legislators for their support of this important measure and those on both the Senate and House Health Committees who worked diligently to arrive at the final language of the bill. Thank you to all of the members of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance and the public who have supported these important and needed changes to the current program. We look forward to continuing this work with each of you in the coming years as we strive to develop a true medical marijuana economy here in Hawai‘i.
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 and to lobby effectively on behalf of the entire industry. Contact us today and we will send you the April 2016 Edition of our monthly Industry Publication absolutely free to demonstrate just a little of the value we can provide to you as a stakeholder in this industry. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter. If you like what we are doing, you should also consider joining the Alliance to support the future of Hawaii’s medical marijuana economy, find a doctor who is right for you, make profitable business alliances, and receive Hawaii’s only state specific industry analysis every month.