Aloha Alliance!

The February/March joint meeting of the Legislative Working Group tasked with improving the laws and regulations overseeing Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana industry came to a close today on March 1, 2017. In the audience were almost a dozen members of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance, representing every aspect of the industry. The Committee heard from Kauai dispensary, Green Aloha, about their progress, plans, and obstacles to development. The Department of Health gave a brief update on the status of the registry system and the dispensary system. Co-Chair Representative Della Au Belatti provided a brief overview of current legislation in the 2017 session. The various subcommittees gave interim reports on their meetings and progress; and the meeting closed with audience questions and answers.

The University of Hawai‘i Public Policy Center administers the operations of the working group and posts all documents generated by and for the committee to their website. If you would like to sign up for the working group’s email list, email your request to

This article will cover everything that happened in the meeting today in a detailed narrative, much like a Q&A, organized according to the meeting agenda. If you would like to watch the meeting yourself, it aired on Olelo Channel 55 at 12:30 pm, March 1, 2017, entitled Act 230 Working Group. If you have any questions about the meeting, or about how to get involved, email us at or find us on Facebook.

Panel Members Present and Review of January Meeting Minutes

The meeting began with a brief introduction of all of the committee members. The list of participants at today’s meeting and their affiliation include:

Present Panel Members

  • Representative Della Au Belatti, Co-Chair
  • Senator Rosalyn Baker, Co-Chair
  • Representative Joy San Buenaventura
  • Scottina Ruis, Medical Marijuana Registry Program Coordinator
  • Keith Ridley, Hawai‘i Department of Health, Office of Healthcare Assurance
  • Christopher Garth, Executive Director, Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance
  • Carl Bergquist, Drug Policy Forum
  • Wendy Gibson, Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawai‘i
  • Michael Takano, Pono Life Sciences, Maui CountyDispensary
  • Richard Ha, Lau Ola, Hawai‘i County Dispensary
  • Greg Yim, Doctor
  • Stacy Kracher, APRN/RX
  • Karen Kahikina, Department of Transportation, Airports Division
  • Rob Lee – Department of Transportation, Airports Division
  • Patricia Wilson – HPD
  • Jari Sugano – Guardian of a Patient under 18
  • Bill Jarvis – Patient
  • John Paul Bingham – CTAHR
  • Ally Park – Clinical Laboratories Hawaii (Pending Certified Laboratory Representative)

The working group is administered by Dr. Susan Chandler and the University of Hawai‘i Public Policy Center, with assistance from Center Director Collin Moore; Dr. Michelle Ibanez; and Joy Agner, policy assistant.

The minutes from the January meeting were approved with no edits.

Dispensary Presentation: Green Aloha

The meeting began with a presentation from Green Aloha, the sole Kauai county dispensary. Each of the dispensaries will be presenting over the next few months to update the Committee about their progress, their contact with current patients, and any obstacles of general application that they are facing.

Green Aloha, was represented by CEO Justin Britt.

Who are we? We are well versed in agriculture, cannabis cultivation, pharmaceuticals, medicine, law, research, medical marijuana retail, and product development.

Our Team: 

  • CEO, Justin Britt
  • COO, Casey Rothstein
  • Privacy, Dr. Martha Harkey
  • Compliance, Ryan Kunkel – CEO of Have a Heart
  • Production Advisor, Alan King
  • Quality Controal, Ray Maki
  • Legal Advisor, Daniel Hempey
  • License Adviser, Troy Kaplan
  • And many other advisers and employees


  • April 2016 – Obtained dispensary license
  • May 1, 2016 – Began production facility construction using agriculture land exempt permit
  • July, 2016 – DOH approved the production facility location
  • August, 2016 – Production facility was 85% complete
  • September, 2016 – New permits submitted to the County for the production facility
  • October-November, 2016 – County requires switch from industrial to commercial permits
  • December, 2016 – New permits were submitted
  • February, 2017 – DOH gives green light to grow in February (Editors Note: Per DOH, as of March 1, 2017, Green Aloha had not yet received a notice to proceed to begin cultivation)
  • March, 2017 – Patiently waiting on county permit approval and we are still waiting on Department of Water approval because they had to put in a large water tank because of industrialization of the site
  • April, 2017 – We anticipate all permit approvals completed and beginning of cultivation
  • September, 2017 – Retail store opens (Optimistically, August)

Everything is in place at the production site pending permitting, we just have to hook the power up and start it all

Concerns moving forward:

Pesticide and microbial testing standards and the cost of testing for pesticides.

Is it possible for there to be less restrictive tolerance levels/fewer tests for organic grows. Organic grows use microbes instead of pesticides and so some level of microbial life will be found, not usually in the bud though. We use good bugs to eat the bad bugs, most don’t go into the flower.

Some states have tolerance levels for pesticides. We need those. Zero tolerance levels will make it hard for any product to pass laboratory testing.

Questions from the Committee:

Q. Greg Yim – Referring to pesticides, are you concerned about the number of pesticides that need to be tested for. Do you have an approach or recommendation?

A. Justin Britt – Its not about what we use for pesticides. Testing for everything (all of the pesticides) is extremely costly. At the same time, I want to make sure we and others aren’t using crazy pesticides. The product has to be tested. There is a list of accepted pesticides under the Department of Agriculture. As long as we are not bringing in illegal pesticides or having them at our dispensary, do we even need to test for them. Some have discussed creating our own lists of pesticides to test for, I don’t think we have the experience, but if we look at Washington or Oregon which is doing the best job, we can follow their standards.

Q. Greg Yim – Do you feel the pesticides already screened by other states is a good place to start?

A. Justin Britt – Yes, like in Oregon, including the tolerance levels for pesticides. Scientists have figured that out already.

Q. Carl Bergquist – Have you had any contact with prospective customers and patients? What kind of products are they looking for? Have you any comments about being the only licensee on Kauai?

A. Justin Britt – We are in contact with several patients and patient groups, including a veteran’s group. For PTSD you need a high THC and we have those genetics. We are making sure our products serve the public, we have reached out to parents of epilepsy patients to find the ratios of CBD to THC and the technological delivery products they need. Some products are difficult, like for the children, the nasal spray. That is expensive and a new product, but it is very effective for children, so for things like that we need new laws to allow the types of products they are requesting.

Q. Wendy Gibson – Have you looked into nebulizers?

A. Justin Britt – We have been in contact with groups for that. We have a new partnership with a group, but they will not be available right when we open.

Q. Stacy Kracher – What about education development, do you have a target audience?

A. Justin Britt – We haven’t done it yet. That will come along with Retail. We have talked about it, but we haven’t written it yet. We will have iPads and monitors at the retail facility and the information will be available online as well. In terms of access it will be readily available at the facility and on personal devices. We’ll have a pharmacist help write all that curriculum.

Q. Jari Sugano – Any indication of a lab being built on Kauai?

A. Justin Britt – No.

Q. Wendy Gibson – What kind of training will dispensary workers will get?

A. Justin Britt – Our retail partner is Have a Heart, they have 6 locations in Washington and already have a training protocol. They have some of the best bud tenders, able to explain anything, they are more experienced than even myself, they have access to all of the scientific information. We are using the whole training protocol from Have a Heart. Employees must pass a test with 95% or better and they only have three chances to do that.

Q. Stacy Kracher – Having education on layman’s terms is important.

A. Justin Britt – We will be able to create one-on-one sessions for patients and prospective patients to meet with bud tenders or request a pharmacist. The main thing for the pharmacist will be potential drug interactions. Have a Heart is well versed and trains the budtenders well. More than the educational information, we rely on the budtenders to educate the patients.

Q. Stacy Kracher – Will you refer patients back to the primary care provider?

A. Justin Britt – We can’t provide information to the primary care provider. We want to work with them within the bounds of the law. We are not allowed to work directly with primary care physicians. It would be nice for doctors or APRN’s to know how marijuana is working for their patients as a medicine. We would love for doctors to be able to say you have this ailment, you should take this, but they can’t right now

Q. Carl Bergquist – have you assessed patient need, will you meet it as the sole dispensary on the island?

A. Justin Britt – Right now we are only building a transitional production facility. Then we will expand to a larger 3,000 plant facility which will be permanent and built as we get open. So the current facility will only produce 30 to 40 pounds per month, we will sell out each month. We are now looking to put new facilities up, but we don’t want to overburden the county permitting process. We hope to have the next facility built out in 8 to 12 months. We need to get up to 100-200 pounds in production per month.

Q. John Paul Bingham – Are you considering solvent extraction to add value to the product?

A. Justin Britt – Yes and no. We are solventless company. We will offer oils and capsules and other types of products, but without solvents. We will subcontract out any extraction via CO2 within our facility. To get our permits, it was hard to due to using dangerous solvents. We can do the same thing with heat and pressure and ice and cold. They use solvents because can’t get yields without them, we are close to a solvent-type yield with our solventless technique – about a 30% yield. Our process preserves terpenes without using a solvent

Q. Rep. Della Au Belatti – Regarding the lab, there is not one being built on Kauai, are you working out procedures for transportation?

A. Justin Britt – Yes, but we can’t speak about that today. We have been approached by labs on other islands. One of my concerns is the lab taking the samples, we are not cool with that because of contamination. Our guys can’t eat other fruit or visit other farms. A lab guy who does could contaminate the whole thing. So the law doesn’t require the lab to take the test samples, and it is not a good idea for any dispensary or licensee to allow that. There should be a protocol in front of a camera, but there is a contamination issue. We can’t control the lab guys, we are not following them around and we can’t hold them accountable. I can fire an employee, but not a lab guy. (Editor’s note: Later in the meeting, the DOH Laboratory Division clarified that the certified lab is required by law to be the entity taking the samples from each batch).

Q. Rep. Della Au Belatti – Regarding nasal spray, have you investigated the process to urge DOH to allow new product types? You’ve already missed this legislative session.

A. Justin Britt – I only found out about nasal spray a couple of weeks ago. It may fit under the nebulizer category. We are still working on that. We need a solvent extraction method to make that work, we are not prepared for CO2 extraction, that will be 8 to 12 months after the final permits are awarded. We have found extraction rooms in shipping containers we can bring over and we may do that sooner if we find a contract that will work for us.

Q. Rep. Della Au Belatti – Dispensaries are now opening up and looking for people to hire, what is the push to get local folks hired? My concern is we are importing workers. We need local jobs.

A. Justin Britt – We are only hiring local people is my opinion. The only person not local who will get a paycheck (not the advisers, they don’t get paychecks) is the master grower who grew up on Oahu and this is a chance for him to come home. We will look at every application, but I have two stacks, one local and one not, and I’ll only pull from the one. We want to only hire local.

DOH Monthly Update

After the Dispensary Presentation, DOH gave a monthly update on the progress of its Registry and Dispensary departments.

Patient Registry Program

Scottina Ruis: Because of the timing of the meeting and when we pull our quarterly data, there is only one thing to report: As of February 28, 2017, there were 15,708 registered patients. There was a dip in the January registration numbers, but that has happened for each of the last two years, and we are now back above December 2016’s registered patient numbers. The same was true last year.

We are currently filling one position in the Registry Program to expedite turnaround time.

Let me know if there is any specific information you want from the registry program prior to the next meeting.

Dispensary Licensing Program

Keith Ridley:

Scottina and the Dispensary folks created a newsletter. It will be distributed and available online. We are not sure how regularly or frequently. This edition has information on the tracking system and state lab progress.

The next steps for retail dispensaries to open:

  • The Seed-to-Sale tracking system is now in place. Licensees have begun accessing and using the system. Those with notice to proceed have already begun to register seeds and plants.
  • On the laboratory front. We are in continuing discussions with four potential laboratories. It is a an iterative process, they give us information on their capacity and intention, we review and get back to them, and it goes back and forth. It is a similar process for any laboratory doing clinical work on human specimens and tissue. The process is continuing. One lab has been identified on Maui, and three on Oahu. They are all willing to do neighbor island testing – depending on equipment, staffing, and capacity for reaching out.
  • Registry/Seed-to-Sale tracking interface. We expected the contract to be signed last week, but we found out that we had to include another agency in the contract review process. That was done, and now the contract has been agreed upon via email. It is with HIC for review and signature. After that, the contract is set to run for 8 weeks before the system is completely implemented.

Questions to DOH

Q. Greg Yim – Are the tracking and registry system working together yet?

A. Keith Ridley – No. We still need to do that under the contract. The contract was sent to HIC today to sign.

Q. Greg Yim – Any anticipated date?

A. Keith Ridley – After it is signed, they will have 8 weeks to make the connection work

Q. Greg Yim – Is there any mechanism if the contract passes 8 weeks?

A. Keith Ridley – That is part of the review, but we are not anticipating it will. If it does, we will look at the master contract between HIC and Hawaii for any recourse. Our Statement of Work is subordinate to that master agreement, we’ll look at that agreement in regard to any breach

Q. Bill Jarvis – How many licensees have been given authority to proceed?

A. Keith Ridley – Four dispensary licensees have been provided notice to proceed. No application is necessary. The other four are all gearing up to make sure they have everything in place so that when we inspect, they will be ready. (Editor’s note: The four licensees with permission to proceed are Oahu dispensaries Aloha Green and Manoa Botanicals; and Maui dispensaires Pono Life Sciences Maui and Maui Grown Therapies)

Q. John Paul Bingham – Has DOH thought about issue regarding lab standards – either created at DOH or by the labs themselves?

A. Keith Ridley – We have been looking at other jurisdictions, including Oregon. A number of things we are pulling from those jurisdictions to make our standards tight. What we are doing with the lab applicants now, when they come to us to say they can do testing, we are asking them to prove it – what are they testing for, what kinds of things. We are looking at other jurisdictions too.

A. Wanda Chang, State Laboratories Division – We have recommended that the labs look at the Oregon list of pesticides. There are 600 chemical compounds that EPA registers. The Department of Agriculture does not allow any pesticides registered by the EPA. There is a “25b” exceptions list of organic pesticides – like citrus oils – that is allowed. That should cut down on pesticide testing work.

To speed things up, we have had one lab request if they could help out initially to set tolerances. They have conditional approval, but this is not acceptable for the far future. It is good to get things rolling though, so it will be allowed for now.

For pesticides, we are recommending the Oregon list as a starting point to the labs, as well as the document by Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) from their medical marijuana working group for laboratories. This 2016 document with recommendations, included looking at the Oregon list. Because of the request of one of the labs, we have given conditional approval for a pass/fail test on contaminates at this time. In the future they will have to supply actual levels found as well. The dispensaries want to know the levels of heavy metals, etc… in their product.

The only approved pesticides are organic ones – The 25b Federal Department of Agriculture list of approved organic pesticides includes citrus oils.

Regarding sampling and having labs do the sampling, they will not be in the growing areas. Regulations require that each finished lot be sampled by the laboratory. But this won’t be in the growing area. Theoretically they be supplied with packets pre-measured into batches, and the lab could go in and randomly sample.

There are no labs on Kauai yet.

(Editor’s Note. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture released this document in January 2017 regarding pesticide use and the medical marijuana industry).

Q. John Paul Bingham – Regarding CBD’s, how do we look at the consistency of CBD reporting?

A. Wanda Chang – That is a hard question, there are no standard methods. We are asking the labs for published peer-reviewed methods. We will look at them as chemists and microbiologists to validate their methods onsite.

Q. John Paul Bingham –Do the laboratories have to coordinate their standards?

A. Wanda Chang – That is a hard question. In the lab we will do spiking and fortification. We don’t swap suppliers. But we do ask for performance evaluation tests annually to test their standards. For example, the state is a drinking water lab, and we certify other drinking water labs. EPA gives the standards. We subscribe to performance evaluations from other companies as well. Someone sends you an unknown, we test it with our standards and send it back, then we know if our standards are still standard.

The laboratories will buy a sample from Company X. They will test it out in their lab, they will send the results to Company X, which will tell them that their testing is acceptable and they’ll inform the lab department.

Q. Bill Jarvis – Wanda, how is a “lot” being defined? Has that been clarified?

A. Wanda Chang – No. A “lot” has to be sampled with a statistically significant sampling. Random and proportionate to the size of the lot. For instance, buds vs. tincture. It is necessary to get a whole media sample. There are more samples necessary with buds than with tinctures to do that. The International Standards Organization ISO – the labs goal is to inform and be accredited by and to use that standard methodology for sampling.

Q. Bill Jarvis – So one licensee could test 10 to 15 lbs as a “lot”, and another could test 100 lbs?

A. Wanda Chang – Yes. But if I was a dispensary, I wouldn’t take a chance on a larger size, because that could risk destroying the entire batch.

Q. Carl Bergquist – Is there an administrative process for adding conditions and products?

A. Keith Ridley – No process has been promulgated for adding products. If there are dispensaries interested in it, we would be happy to discuss with them. They just need to provide documentation from other jurisdictions on the efficacy of those products. There is nothing to show you now that this is the process. The dispensaries are invited to contact us. The statute does not require a process for products. Just convince us.

Q. Sen. Rosalyn Baker – If there is another jurisdiction that has done research on a product in the list, would that help make the decision.

A. Keith Ridley – Yes, that is what the dispensary would help provide for us.

Q. Jari Sugano – “25b” exempt pesticides are not on the EPA’s banned pesticide list, so they are fine. Now regarding the Oregon list, will they have a pass/fail system even for pesticides not approved for cannabis.

A. Wanda Chang – If within the tolerance then they are fine, but still using an illegal system. So the products on Oregon list should not be approved for cannabis use at all. We adopted the Oregon list because 600 compounds, we don’t want the laboratory doing that many tests. Instead, we analyze for things on the list, they are the stuff approved for the growers, and we don’t test for the stuff not approved. If anything unusual, we will track it down, identify and quantitate it. We will start with 50, but anything unusual in the test, the labs will have to track it down and identify it.

A. Justin Britt – There is zero tolerance for not allowed pesticides and controlled tolerance levels for allowed pesticides.

Q. Jari Sugano – We don’t typically have tolerance for approved pesticides, because they are exempt. Sometimes there are tolerance’s in the system. I want to see the lists of exempt and non-exempt pesticides.

A. Wanda Chang – We had to put a number, based on food products, for tolerance levels. If there is no tolerance level given for a certain pesticide, that is the number we use for determination. The other thing, the tolerance is very low. In food crops, we find that you have to be able to have a method you feel comfortable with, a number, not the background interference. You want a safety net. What numbers and which chemicals – for now 1 ppm for all pesticides (with not other defined levels). If you have a different number on each one, then a different number on 600 different pesticides and different for each product, that is too much.

Q. Jari Sugano – I’m just curious about what chemicals you have on the lists?

A. Wanda Chang – That is from the Department of Agriculture, the laboratory divisions is just overseeing the analysis. The Oregon list you can get from the internet and the APHL website and look for medical marijuana laboratory guidance document.

Q. Jari Sugano – 60 chemicals are not approved with a tolerance. I’ll go back and look as well.

Q. John Paul Bingham – Given the division for testing between pesticides and solvents. Any training? Looking at solvents?

A. Wanda Chang – We are. But don’t know.

Q. John Paul Bingham – This is a lot of stuff for a laboratory to look for, not through a single test run?

A. Wanda Chang – Probably 1 run for solvents. 2 runs for pesticides. Then Microbiology analysis, maybe a few more.

Q. John Paul Bingham – The labs are burdened with a lot of stuff?

A. Wanda Chang – Yes, but they have experience. One commercial lab on the mainland runs 200 pesticide tests. They can do all of these things for a decent price and turnaround time. Two labs here in Hawaii – one is a satellite of a mainland lab, one is transferring the technology from the mainland lab – they both say they can do it at a decent price.

Q. Mike Takano – Pono Life Sciences – I want to verify a few points. First, the starting point for the testing list, is it a moving target or set now at DOH?

A. Wanda Chang – It is a starting point for the laboratories, if they find something unusual, they have to track it down

Q. Mike Takano – 1 part per million, or will the labs set the tolerances?

A. Wanda Chang – The tolerances are in the Hawaii Administrative Rules. In order to get the labs going, one lab will perform a pass/fail test. They will do that first, for now while they get their quantitative capacity online so the dispensaries can get the product through. We told the labs they can do that. But they still have to conduct all of the tests.

Q. Mike Takano – The “lot” size, that is on the dispensaries?

A. Wanda Chang – Correct.

Q. Mike Takano – Would it make sense to go through the purification process for more extracts rather than buds because of the sampling issues mentioned earlier? Guess we just have to try?

A. Wanda Chang – Yes.

Q. Christopher Garth, Executive Director, Hawaii Dispensary Alliance – Scottina, the Registry Program is hiring one more person?

A. Scottina. Yes. The current registration wait time is 7 days, with us all working overtime. Hiring more person will keep us at that speed without overtime. Not filling the position, the wait time will be 10-15 business days.

Q. Christopher Garth – What is the duration of the hire?

A. Scottina. It is a temporary civil service position. We are going through the process. It takes time and is an involved process

Q. Christopher Garth – Keith, what about the dispensary program education hire? What has the Department done to fulfill that obligation?

A. Keith Ridley – We are focusing our time on the dispensary licensing program. As far as the education position, it is not one person, it is part a person’s job description. Technically all of the staff are available for education. Education to date has been large groups – law enforcement, HGEA nurses, business folks over the next two months, we haven’t gotten to the patient side. The newsletter helps a little. It is broad stuff, the status of the dispensaries. We are not going into specific products or species, or plant information. We haven’t gotten to that yet.

Q. Jari Sugano – What if a sample tests hot? What is the process for violations?
A. Keith Ridley – If the test is done and finds contaminants, the lot is segregated, pulled from the shelves and everywhere else. It is possible to rerun the tests. Until that lot is cleared it cannot be sold. DOH will not be doing the testing. Just the labs – identifying the samples, testing, providing results to dispensaries and department.

2017 Legislative Overview

After the Update from the Department of Health, the Committee heard from its Co-Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti about the 2017 Legislative Session and the medical marijuana related bills. The Co-Chair passed out lists of the ~30 proposed and remaining active bills. (Editor’s note: This list will be available on the Act 230 working group website in the future, meanwhile, here is the HDA list of proposed and active bills in the 2017 session).

The active bills are moving.

In the House, the bills address:

  • Taxes
  • Edibles
  • Reorganization of the Registry and Dispensary Program to give more flexibility to the department
  • The language on the lab standards

In the Senate, the bills address:

  • Video monitoring requirements
  • Expanding certifiable conditions
  • Using the term “cannabis” instead of “marijuana”
  • Other administrative changes for the program

It is all moving forward. We are all looking forward to participating in the process.

There were 19 bills concerning marijuana generally.

Co-Chair Sen. Rosalyn Baker – Don’t call us asking for things to pass or get heard. We are in the middle of the process. Not even to crossover yet. Then the bills start over again in the other chamber and then they reconcile at the end in conference. All of these bills that died this biennium can be resurrected next session. Right now, the bills must be decked by Friday. Nothing not in the pipeline right now will happen.

Co-Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti – There is a lot of commonality in the bills between the houses right now. They will move to conference and we’ll see what happens.

Subcommittee Reports

After the 2017 Legislation Update, the Committee heard from its Subcommittees about their progress, but first, Co-Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti provided a brief primer on the state sunshine laws to encourage public access to the proceedings.

Co-Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti – Primer on Sunshine – The Working Group has been complying so far, though we are not necessarily subject. For members on the subcommittees, here is the notice from the Office of Information Practices. We want Subcommittees to operate as Permitted Interaction Groups (PIGs), they are not subject to the same requirements under the sunshine laws, but you can follow them if you want to. The true hard and fast rule is that no subcommittee meeting can contain a quorum of the Working Group. Members of the Working Group also should not talk to other members who are not part of their subcommittee about subcommittee issues prior to the delivery of the subcommittee report at each Working Group meeting. That conversation should happen at larger group meetings. After a subcommittee makes recommendations to the Working Group in writing, then it will sit for one meeting, the notes will be published, then the Working Group can take action.

Subcommittees can submit reports prior to the next meeting in writing. Even if just summary. It doesn’t have to be extensive. Just a summary.

Q. Michael Takano – Subcommittee members can’t talk to the public after meetings? But can we invite 3rd party experts to the meetings?

A. Rep. Della Au Belatti – Yes, subcommittees can invite anyone. Just don’t have a quorum of Working Group members at a meeting.

Laboratory Subcommittee, Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti

I was supposed to convene the Laboratory Subcommittee and I wanted to do it properly. So far I have Jari Sugano, John Paul Bingham, Ally Park, and Michael Takano.

Our first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Room 329, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. The meeting will be public and noticed on the website. Looking at best practices; answering questions; digging into other jurisdictions; and coming up with recommendations for this Working Group and the Department of Health. The subcommittee will report back.

Patients Subcommittee, Chair Carl Bergquist

I chair the Subcommittee on Patients. We have met once, we’ll meet and report in writing prior to the next meeting.

Education Subcommittee, Chair Stacy Kracher

We have not met since the last report, will meet before the next meeting.

Products Subcommittee, Chair Michael Takano

We have not met since our last meeting – committee members are currently conducting state-to-state research, we will meet before the next meeting.

Public Input

The floor was then opened for public comments.

Q. Russell, APEC Hawaii, Advocate for UH Cancer Center –

  • I want to see research being done to get ideas to formulate organizations to work with UH cancer center. There is a new administration under Trump, not preferring recreational, but medical is fine usage. Police are looking into it as well. So research could play well.
  • Regarding insurance and HMI, can they apply for for medical insurance program and usage?
  • Regarding the grade of THC – we have local brands and it is intense and powerful, do we have THC level regulation. Doctors do not prescribe the brand, so it is up to the individual users.

A. Chairs. Thank you.

Q. Carl Bergquist – What will the Federal Administration do about marijuana?

A. Sen. Rosalyn Baker – We have no statement until they do something concrete and available. It is just speculation.

Q. Wendy Gibson – Announcement – I’m on two committees –Patients and Education – I wanted to inform people of publications that inform readers about medical marijuana laws – targeting medical professionals and patients to stay current with the content of the laws. Produced by Drug Policy Forum.

Q. Carl Bergquist – The intention is to send it to all physicians in the state. It was updated this year. A PDF version is on the website.

Q. Stacy Kracher – Wendy Gibson and I hosted an educational conference – 10 people over two sessions. We shared access to this information, and even with everything in the news, people don’t know what the laws are in the medical community.

Q. Senator Rosalyn Baker – Please make this information available to the Board of Medicine and Board of Nursing. It would be valuable to them, a good resource.

Q. Representative Joy San Buenaventura – The UH School of Pharmacy too.

A. Carl Bergquist – It will be sent to all doctors and APRN’s in Hawaii.

Next Steps and Announcements

Announcement: To get on the email list, go to All updates are also posted to the Act 230 website.

Next Meeting: April 12th, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, State Capitol Conference Rm 229

Pono Life Sciences Maui will be presenting. Then Manoa Botanicals, Hawaiian Ethos, and Cure Oahu over the coming months.



2016-10-12-leg-oversight-committee-2Now it is your turn! The Alliance has a role on the Committee and access to each of the subcommittees – Products, Education, Patients, and Laboratories. We need your thoughts, comments, and detailed considerations for any and all of these committee priorities that you would like to see action or deliberation on. What did we miss? What do you think we should emphasize? The Legislative Oversight Committee will generate the successful legislative and administrative progress the industry needs in the coming years, and this is your opportunity to guide our hand.

We want to know what you think! Email us at if you have any suggestions or comments, find us on Facebook, Contact Us through this website, or give us a call anytime. You are invited to be as broad or specific with your submissions as possible.

Mahalo nui for your continued support as we build a better future for Hawai‘i’s legitimate cannabis industry!

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!

Legislative Oversight Committee – February/March Update