Aloha Alliance!

The May/June meeting of the Act 230 Legislative Working Group tasked with improving the laws and regulations overseeing Hawai‘i’s medical marijuana industry came to a close today on June 7, 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 Oahu dispensary Manoa Botanicals (Oahu), 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 the legislation from the 2017 session. The Committee approved its draft report to the legislature for 2017. The various subcommittees self-organized to determine work directions for the summer; and the meeting closed with audience questions and answers expressing the public’s growing concern about the increasing delays in the program.

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. This meeting was not broadcast on Olelo, but was simulcast on the legislatures internal broadcast network on channel 192-2. Archives of the meeting should be available in the future at 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 April 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
  • Representative Cynthia Thielen
  • 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
  • Stacy Kracher, APRN/RX
  • Karen Kahikina, Department of Transportation, Airports Division
  • Rob Lee – Department of Transportation, Airports Division
  • Patricia Wilson – Honolulu Police Department
  • Jari Sugano – Guardian of a Patient under 18
  • John Paul Bingham – CTAHR
  • Michael Contrades – Hawai‘i Police Department
  • Thayne Taylor – Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance, Kauai
  • Thomas Wills – UH Cancer Center
  • Ally Park – Clinical Laboratories/AEOS Labs
  • Greg Yim – Physician

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. A guest moderator managed the May/June meeting in place of Dr. Chandler.

Approve the agenda. Anything missing? Approved.

Rep. Belatti: We need to approve the Interim Report to the Legislature.  It is just summarizing steps we’ve taken so far. Just as a matter of form we need to approve it. Originally due in January. Just to form, the real report will be the end of this year. Approved.

Dispensary Presentation: Manoa Botanicals

The meeting began with a presentation from Manoa Botancials (Oahu), one of three Oahu dispensaries. 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.

Manoa Botanicals was represented by Brian Goldstein, CEO.

Presentation and Notes:

Brian Goldstein: I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about our company, our approach to the market, and our team. Then I will talk about key challenges and solutions the industry is facing.

Our mission is to improve the wellness of our community thought a knowledgeable, caring approach backed by botanical science.

Our vision is to drive social impact by redefining cannabis as a natural choice for our community – free from taboo.

There are a number of common denominators across the industry – safety, security, compliance, privacy, facilities, and testing. We do those all of these and we will adhere to the highest standards. We expect all participants in the industry to do so. So we won’t repeat the same words of the other presenters by sharing our approach to these issues.

Our Team

We’ve assembled an amazing team.

Brian Goldstein – CEO

Sue Sisley – Medical Director

Alan Gottlieb – CFO

Greg Gilmartin – Security and Compliance

Michael Thorne – Heady of Quality Assurance

James Lowe – Cultivation Manager

Tanya Johnson – Operations

We’ve been working together for a while and I am privileged to have put together a team of thorough leaders to contribute to the dispensary and the community.


We will have:

  • Flower
  • Oil
  • Wax
  • Shatter
  • Lozenges
  • Ointments
  • Topicals
  • Tinctures
  • Pills/Capsules
  • No Edibles

Consultative Approach

At Manoa we understand that for many of the people who walk into the dispensary it may be the first time – it may be a bit overwhelming. We plan to bring a consultative approach where we will work with our patients to understand their conditions, recommend strains and product forms, and trained staff will recommend methods of titration and dosing.

This is a big job – building a new industry from the ground up. Key participants include the legislature, DOH, and HEALTH. There have been significant challenges and it is taking longer than we would like to see.

  • For the legislature – HB 1488 helped the patients with dispensary access and conditions.
  • For DOH – They have accomplished the milestones of getting Biotrack online and integrated with the patient registry
  • For HEALTH – An Industry Trade Association for all eight licensed dispensaries – It was very challenging to organize, we hired Kerry Komatsubara, and we are working with all of the relevant stakeholders.

Challenges Ahead

I want to spend a few moments to acknowledge that the goals of establishing the program are to help the patients move from the black and grey market into the light: Lab tested medicine in a variety of product forms. To do this, we must supply what patients need in convenient product forms at an affordable price.

I am speaking on behalf of Manoa, not on behalf of any others. A few challenges include: Cost, Vaporizing, and Reciprocity.

  • Cost

In the enabling statute – there are THC dosage limitations – 100mg for a multi-unit package; 10 mg for single doses. No other state has such THC limitations. The practical implications of this dosage limit for 1 milliliter (typical size dose) at 80% concentration means just 800 Milligrams of THC. This means we can only sell 1/10 of your typical oil cartridge. To buy a similar amount of medicine as is commonly available on the mainland, a patient would have to by 10. And they must be in opaque labeled packaging as well. This hurts costs.

The same is true for extracts: For instance, a half-gram of resin or wax. ½ gram at 80% concentration has 400 milligrams of THC. We can’t sale that – it is too small. We can sell something twice or four times the size – otherwise it is about the size of 4 pieces of couscous.

We can’t sell it in an extract container. But in an opaque container. So you have to buy four of our product to equal one mainland product, and it will come in two packages each. This hurts costs and convenience of patients trying to buy the medicine.

We request that the legislative working group eliminate the 100 milligram requirement. Bringing Hawaii inline with every other state in the nation.

  • Vaporizing

Smoking is not the best form of ingesting cannabis. Vaping is better but not ideal. But the WHO report said that it is the most effective method of dosing for neuropathic pain. Dispensaries can’t sell in a form ready for vaporizing – no cartridges: empty or full. We can sell a dispenser filled to 1/10th of a milliliter. Then patients will get the rest of the accessories at the head shop. This is not likely, fully loaded CBD and THC cartridges already sold in larger amounts on the black market.

This is not bringing patients into the light.

We recommend a change to the administrative rules – eliminating the prohibition on selling cartridges with oil.

  • Reciprocity

Reciprocity is key to a successful dispensary program – critical to its success. 32% of Oahu visitors are from adult use states – they will help provide funding for State of Hawaii programs. But, most recreational state visitors won’t have a medical marijuana card. So qualified patients have no option to participate in the reciprocity program.

Proposed solution – A program that is convenient for qualified visitors. This includes a surcharge collected from dispensary sales to visitors used to fund DOH MMJ Programs. Just allow patients to sign an affidavit of a qualifying condition. Otherwise allow either a state issued card or a doctors letter.

Legislation will be required and we request the Working Group recommend a surcharge on sales of medical cannabis to visitors. Receipts from those sales should go to the medical marijuana program – to fund education and outreach activities.

Thank you for the opportunity to share about our team and approach to the market and the challenges we see in the upcoming year.


Q. Greg Yim – Reciprocity – When would you like to see reciprocity take place? When should it be introduced or started?

A. Goldstein –  The State has authority to start it as of January 2018. That will require administrative rules. We want that timeline and request those rules be issued later this year.

Q. Carl Bergquist – You mentioned edibles?

A. This is not a product form currently allowed. Patients will buy in oil form and bake their own products. We are currently in a vertically integrated industry, it is a lot of work to manufacture all of these product forms. All dispensaries have their work cut out to get all of product forms created. If the time comes the legislature deems it the right time to allow edibles, we are getting certified as a commercial kitchen, we will be ready. But we are working on a current broad selection of products.

Q. Gregg Yim – Reciprocity – You mentioned potential solutions – Do you see DOH as having a role or can this be directly between physicians on the mainland and the dispensaries?

A. The rules require DOH. Current rules require a 329 card to enter the dispensary. We need rules to allow visiting patients and others inside the dispensaries.

Q. Rep. San Buenaventura – The question is twofold to Ridley and Manoa Botanicals. When enacting the initial law, I didn’t see anything in the statute preventing dispensaries from selling paraphernalia. There needs to be some sort of education between the seller and consumer. Why is that prevention in the rules and how do we fix that?

A. Keith Ridley, DOH – To make the administrative rules, we looked at the statute and saw what the dispensaries were authorized to sell and took it from there.

Q. Rep. San Buenaventura – So they can only sell X as listed in the statute?

A. Keith Ridley – Yes, we limited it to the statute.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Did DOH make that call as regulators or did the Attorney General make the call from their reading of the law?

A. Keith Ridley – It was done in collaboration, we worked with the Attorney General on all of the rules.

Q. Rep. Belatti – The statute doesn’t say exclusively, and from legislative intent purposes, there is flexibility. They can sell t-shirts if they want, I don’t care, they should be allowed to do that. We need more flexibility in the rules. Use the attorneys and clearer eyes to look at the law.

Q. Rep. San Buenaventura – Sometimes when we go to a pharmacist we ask how to use products. It is counter-intuitive if the dispensary is selling product, and they know their product well, that they can’t tell the consumer how to use that product without proper paraphernalia. Can we do this without a legislative session, maybe suspend the rules to fix this? We are issuing lots of new cards, I would rather they learn from the dispenser how to use their product. Mr. Ridley – Pleas figure out how to suspend the administrative rule holding this up by discussing it with the Attorney General.

Q. Rep. Belatti – There are legal principles to allow this. Please talk with the Attorney General.

A. Goldstein – Nothing in the statute prohibits dispensaries from selling paraphernalia or tshirts. It is a single rule in the admin rules that prevents dispensaries from selling any product that allows the product to be smoked or vaporized. That is why and how people use flower. It is why 70% of sales on mainland are flower. It is an effective means of ingestion. What the rules do is say buy your medicine here and then go to a headshop or ecig shop to fill your vaping cartridge. It makes no sense, patients should be able to buy medicine and tools to ingest in one safe place.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Knowing we have the THC limits – what are the products you are looking at developing?

A. Goldstein – We are planning on opening the dispensary – we are targeting with the lab opening this summer that we will open this fall. We will open with flower first, then extracts in small product forms, and then tinctures. Tinctures are easier to manage, maybe mixed with MCT oil, its easier to manage the dosage. Still uses small bottles, but easier to manage. And we’ll have capsules. 10Mg dosage is ok for capsules, it still shouldn’t be a limitation, but its ok for capsules. The reason there are limitations in Colorado is to limit edibles. But dealing with capsules, people are not going to eat too much. I was just at the Patients Out of Time conference. Some ailments requires 3-400 mgs a day. They need to buy in larger quantities. Our limits don’t make sense.

Q. Rep. Belatti – In the states without dosage limits, what is the statutory language that addresses THC limits?

A. Goldstein – No dosage limits, except on edibles. Because it is easy to make a mistake and because of the delayed affects. Think about topicals – people are not going to overdose on lotion. But we still have the 100mg limit. No other state has those limitations. Instead they give instructions for use and presume patients will follow the instructions.

A. Michael Takano – The rules already have a way to govern those products. We have to submit products to DOH for approval. What would be constructive is a clear discussion of legislative intent over practicability and have the stakeholders have some common ground. The current rule means makes it take too long for products to reach patients and much more expensive.

Q. Michael Takano – Also, it is not as simple as dispensaries advising people to go to headshop – that is illegal. Headshops can’t market products as useful for marijuana. They are not a place to go.

A. Carl Bergquist – Act 230 in the last session included a carve-out for paraphernalia for patients and for licensees. Headshops can produce and manufacture paraphernalia. We decriminalized it for these purposes so that patients can go to headshops right now. That is legal. We have legislative intent that should be brought to the AG for discussion of updating the current rules.

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:

May 31st–  17018 patients. Over the last two months a 4.5 % increase.

For 329 cards there has been no change in turnaround – it is still about 10 business days.

Overtime for staff did end at the end of March, and their was a new hire at the end of April. The new staff and increased volume of applications balanced each other out.

Dispensary Licensing Program

Keith Ridley:

I’ve distributed what I’ll be providing and some attachments. AVAILABLE HERE IN FULL.


  1. Medical cannabis dispensary status – in terms of production and retail centers, inspections, and the licensing of each location and a brief summary of what goes into each of these different inspections. Gives you a brief description of what takes place.
  2. Status report on lab certification.

Americans for Safe Access Report

Americans for Safe Access is an independent third-party source. Their mission is to remove barriers to access. We are proud that Hawaii received a B. We are ranked 5th highest in the nation. We are on track to become one of the best programs in the country if we continue in timely implementation. This is an entire effort, beginning with the legislature and the dispensaries and labs. We appreciate everyone’s involvement in Hawaii achieving a B grade.

Grades ranged from B+ to F-. The highest grade was a B+ with Illinois. We were just a little behind them. We will look at states that are ahead of us to see what they did better and we’ll see how we can be better. If we can change and make DOH decisions in areas maybe absent from the statue we will do that.

The report used a point system for five criteria. The complete report is available on the internet. It is a large document so be careful with the printing.

(*Editor’s Note: The ASA Report was first publicized by the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance and Pacific Business News back in March 2017 with a much more detailed and sobering review of the findings. This information was also made available in our testimony submitted to the legislature in opposition to further regulations restricting the growth of the industry contained in HB1488. The full ASA report can be accessed here).

DOH Newsletter

The DOH Medical Marijuana Update newsletter’s 3rd edition was posted today. It will be emailed tomorrow to all registered patients and caregivers.

The newsletter is available here.

Dispensary Status:

First Attachment:

This is a summary of the dispensaries and where they are at on their production centers and retail locations. Inspections 1, 2, and 3 show what takes place at particular times. There are three inspection types for production centers:

  1. Does it meet zoning requirements?
  2. For production centers, has the dispensary complied with all requirements to begin growing
  3. For manufacturing beyond the selling of dried flower. Do those processes and equipment meet safety, residual, and disposal requirements.

There are also three inspection types for retail locations:

  1. Does it meet zoning requirements?
  2. Do the physical plants meet regulatory requirements?
  3. Finally, prior to sales, are all external connections with Biotrac, the registry, and the lab interface working?

These inspections date back to the last calendar year and they are continuing:Notice to proceed to cultivate:

  • 4 licensees can cultivate
  • 1 more, on Kauai, is pending one piece of documentation, then we’ll have 5.
  • Some of the dispensaries have also been working on their 2nd production center. Zoning is pretty easy, typically on the same property.
  • I also want to point out for Manoa Botanicals, that we will be conducting the announced inspection of your second production center later this month.

Retail locations – same outline. You can see the dates where we have conducted inspections.

Laboratory Certification Status

Second Attachment:

As of this morning, here is where the labs are in the certification process. Beginning with when the application was submitted and what validation studies have been provided to us to date. This information can and will change,  but it is where we are right now. For the validation studies, as part of DOH certification, there are a number of certifications – THC, heavymetals, microbial, etc…

Looking across labs 1, 2, 3 and what has been submitted so far.  Lab 1 says we will receive some validation studies this week. Lab 2, last week and this week they provided some validation studies, the THC and chemical profiles this week. Lab 3, you can see when their data packages were submitted and approvals given.As far as ISO certification. This is an independent certification. Lab 1, there will be an onsite visit by ISO for their medals around July 4. Lab 2, their onsite just took place. For Lab 3, they’ve applied for ISO certification and are awaiting an onsite date.

As far as DOH onsite visits. Lab 1, we conducted an onsite visit. If their validation studies look good, they will be the earliest approvals. Lab 2 requested onsite from DOH on June 15. Lab 3 has requested early/mid July for the onsite visit.

Additional comments are in the packet. Who the ISO accreditor is and what they’ve done. In terms of files and documentation that has been provided by the labs – that runs to hundreds and thousands of pages of documentation – including the number of validation studies submitted.

Q. Sen. Baker – There are 3 labs and 4 counties. Do the labs have more than 1 location?

A. Ridley – I’m not sure.

Q. Sen. Baker – If there are three labs without multiple locations, then one county is without a lab. But 2 counties are without a lab as it stands because 2 labs are on Oahu. Someone will have to transport.

A. Ridley – That is correct. Transportation is obviously a critical component, and we are working with our Deputy Attorney General to look at protocols for how that can be accomplished. Whether it is the laboratory or dispensary personnel, or in the mail (similar to law enforcement samples for testing).

Q. Sen. Baker – I need to make sure that the transportation issue doesn’t hold up dispensaries for lack of lab access. That would disadvantage the patients.

A. Ridley – I agree.

Q. Greg Yim – Do we know which lab is for which county?

A. Ridley – I’ll provide that.

Keith Ridley – the Labs have asked us to do the onsite inspections. We have our own internal deadlines to finish those protocols.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Asking without a scientific background, but no validation studies have been submitted for pesticides or solvents, is that going to be a problem?

A. Ridley – The labs said they would, but they are providing validation studies incrementally. I don’t have that information yet.

Q. Sen. Baker – Some of the extraction is being done without a solvent – with CO2. If that is the case, do the dispensaries still have to test for solvents?

A. Ridley – One of the things we’ll be looking at through inspections is that if dispensaries don’t use pesticides or solvents, we’ll be able to provide a waiver.

Q. Rep Belatti – Is that memorialized in best practices for the industry?

A. Michael Takano – No. That was an idea from the lab subcommittee of this working group. DOH is tasked with regulating Standards of Procedure and if they are consistent to help streamline testing, but there is no external data or best practices.

Q. Wendy Gibson – We adopted the Oregon standards for pesticide testing? How many pesticides? How does that effect cost?

A. Ridley – We adopted Oregon’s standards and made adjustments after talking to Oregon. In terms of numbers its mid-50’s – 56 total pesticides.

Q. Wendy Gibson – Why is it necessary to test if dispensaries are not using those pesticides?

A. Ridley – If the dispensaries are not using, then they will be able to receive a waiver. Bur right now there is no other way to evaluate without the testing?

Computer Software Tracking System

Keith Ridley – We have integrated the system with the patient registry. Integration and testing and training was completed in May. We are still testing and devising testing scenarios. We’ll stress test in the near future too.

Q. Wendy Gibson – What about laboratory testing protocols in the tracking system?

A. Keith Ridley – Yes, the laboratories have been integrated.

Q. Carl Bergquist – Reciprocity. Has there been progress on the protocol based on the statute? Regarding the registry numbers, are those new patients registering plants, or are some just waiting for the dispensaries.

A. Scottina Ruis – We don’t track whether patients are registering plants or just themselves.

A. Keith Ridley- We do capture the data, but don’t track it.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Have their been any internal DOH discussions about the registry and visitors?

A. Ridley – No.

Q. Rep. Belatti – That is a bottleneck and a potential market for the dispensaries. Please look at that.

A. Ridley – In terms of reciprocity it is a complicated issues. What concern, which laws apply – the home state or the host state.

Q. Sen. Baker – The states that are recreational don’t have the same requirements that we have. That is the rub if people come in looking for one product because they think it is legal. I hope that you will put out the “Good Neighbor Flyer” #8 – provide it to transient accommodations, condos, and other places. And I know the front desks at those place get those questions all the time. Under the Clean Air Act visitors can’t smoke anything if in a rental or blanket non-smoking area. There is no smoking in certain rentals under the Clean Air Act.

A. Scottina Ruis – The Good Neighbor Flyer is posted online. But there is no other mechanism to get it out to those parties. We had an educational piece last year, but nothing since then.

Q. Brian Goldstein – DOH takes the position that the registry has to register visitors – that will be a failure of the program. In Nevada – bring in card, sign an affidavit, and then the visitor can buy. This won’t happen in your department. That is a recipe for a failed program.

A. Scottina Ruis – Right now regulation through the registry is regulated in the statute. We need to discuss that as far as that process works. We don’t want to be unfair to our own population. But we need to be respectful of the visitors. Our current registry won’t work from a timing perspective for patient visitors.

Q. Carl Bergquist – Quickly congratulate Keith and others here on the B grade. Not sure if it looks at implementation. In other states, the time to opening of dispensaries takes 13 months to 3 years. Once they start to open, once we have time, we need to evaluate our own progress. Was the statute created with an inaccurate timeline. Or other mistakes? Or did DOH make mistakes in the implementation? Is it the labs fault, or otherwise. As a working group, other states will look to us, what can we learn from our own progress?

2017 Legislation Report

Rep. Belatti provided a very brief description of three active bills awaiting the Governor’s signature.

  • HB1488 – Omnibus
  • SB 786 – Changing the term “marijuana” to “cannabis”
  • HB 1501 (sponsored by Rep. Joy San Buenaventura) – Decriminalizing paraphernalia

(Here is the HDA list of proposed bills in the 2017 session).

Q. Ally Park – We have locations on all the islands – if a dispensary delivers to a lab location. Can it shuffle between labs?

A. Rep. Belatti – That is a protocol that can be sorted out. The language is broad enough. There is not a prohibition.

A. Rep. San Buenaventura – As long as it is under the corporate umbrella it could work.

Working Group Discussion of Subcommittees

Rep. Belatti – We are looking at the next 6 months for this Working Group. In December we need to finalize and report on our recommendations. Pursuant to HB 1488, DOH will report back to us on alternative computer tracking systems. By November we will have a more formal report from DOH. We will have to discuss the recommendations in November. So Subcommittees have time to work from July – October.

What we need to do is identify those subcommittees that we have firm recommendations on. This is our subcommittee topics we discussed already. We need to identify 4-5 subcommittees that we want to work on. Break-out, talk about issues, talk about resources to incorporate, and come up with meeting times to create a work plan. July – October, will be when the subcommittees are really working, chewing through information, and bringing back recommendations to the larger group. September/October will be the time to work through the recommendations.

We will do draft recommendations, circulate, and then vote on whether to approve recommendations in November.

Q. Greg Yim – Is this list organized by priority? If so, then I suggest we reconsider reciprocity and the order of consideration of these issues?

A. Rep. Belatti – Reciprocity should be moved up in priority.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Sen. Baker will be interested in Products. That should be moved up to #2.

Q. Greg Yim – Any requirements or recommendation for how many subcommittees that working group members may serve on?

A. Rep. Belatti – No, you can be on as many subcommittees as you want. But for today, just 1.

Q. Rep. Belatti – Recommendation – #13, dispensary license issues, should be a higher priority. We need to tackles questions of new licenses and horizontal/vertical organization of the industry. That issue is emerging from the community. San Buenaventura will take on that issue.

So the five subcommittees will be:

  • Education – Stacy Kracher
  • Patients – Carl Bergquist
  • Products – Michael Takano
  • Reciprocity – Rep. Belatti
  • Dispensary License Issues – Rep. San Buenaventura

(Editor’s Note: The Working Group split-up for approximately 15 minutes to discuss first steps for each Committee. The results will be compiled by the Chairs and publicized at the next meeting).

Public Input

The floor was then opened for public comments.

Q. Paul Klink – Honolulu Wellness Center – Announcement – We will be offering our first public educational workshop for attendees over 21. We have a nationally known speaker on hydroponic, indoor growing, scentless growing, tinctures, and vapes for patients. We just completed a new theater with over 60 seats. Our priorities are patients, caretakers, the public and stakeholders who are welcome to join us. The event starts Jun 15th. Check out our website. We are prepared to expand the times depending on the response. Right now, be at Nauru Tower 4th Floor. June 15th, 6-8 PM.

Q. Terry – I am concerned about two things. 1. Dosages. I have a friend with a stroke, she worked up to 400 mg per day, and there is no longer any damage from the stroke. In Canada, it is no problem to go to the dispensary and get that medicine. She’s tried all types of delivery methods. There needs to be a place for that here, legislators don’t need to legislate the dosages. 2. Interisland transport. We keep talking about testing. Patients want to test their product too. Interisland transport for purposes of testing is important too. As soon as the labs are authorized I want to be able to test my stuff wherever I am at.

Q. Nathaniel Kinney – Question on consumption, every jurisdiction has a problem with selling medicine and then the location of consumption. When you are talking about reciprocity – where are they going to be consuming this medicine. If in a condo hotel with no smoking? Where are the patients allowed to consume. We need to deal with this issue now.

A. Sen. Baker – Right now it is only private property. In the privacy of your home.

Q. Nathaniel Kinney – So the privacy of Airbnb? Where?

A. Rep Belatti – Right now only in a private residence.

A. Sen. Baker – I don’t care about visitors. Only about patients that need that medicine. From the perspective of a Hawaii policymaker, my folks are those who are here and need the medicine here.

Q. Michael Rollins – PharmLabs Hawaii – Interisland transportation. I want more discussion on this topic. Labs should be more involved in this discussion. I’ve heard third-hand about regulations, but the labs can provide insight into how those regulations could affect the tests. We are not getting enough communication prior to DOH moving forward with the regulations.

A. Sen. Baker – Have their not been these conversations? I’m not talking about just today.

A. Keith Ridley – DOH has met twice with all of the labs. There has been some discussion, but it was more for orientation and training.

A. Sen. Baker – We need these conversations now to avoid having to fix these things on the back end.

A. Kerry Komatsubara (HEALTH) – We’d like to invite our people too: Dispensaries, State, and Private Lab people.

A. Ally Park, Clinical Laboratories – We’ve been told what we can’t do, but not what we can do. There is nebulousness about transporting.

A. Sen. Baker – There is only so much protection the state can afford. Not dollarwise, but to enable. So it is an issue.

Q. Michael Rollins – PharmLabs Hawaii – There is also an over concern with the amount being shipped interisland for testing. It is only very small amounts. Alaska just passed a law that survived federal oversight for transportation by air of 50 pounds at a time. And here we are only talking about grams at a time. We should be able to find a solution.

Q. Anonymous – Can you elaborate on raising the patient’s plant count.

A. Rep. Belatti – It will be raised to 10 per patient effective July 1, 2017 when the governor signs the law.

A. Sen. Baker – DOH has received no feedback from the governor on issues with this bill going forward, it is likely to be signed (HB1488).

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura – HB 1501 is in danger of being vetoed. This is especially serious for the dispensaries. It decriminalizes paraphernalia. Please write the governor to not veto it. I’ve been on the Public Safety Committee, almost half of the issues were pre-conviction arrests. No bail. Not having this bill will have a chilling effect. Please support HB 1501, request no veto from the Governor. 


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: 

The next meeting will likely occur on July 19th, 2-4 pm. Details to come. Stay tuned!

Hawaiian Ethos will likely be presenting at the next meeting, followed by Cure Oahu as the remaining two dispensaries.



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 Winter 2017 edition of the HDA Industry Update absolutely free to say thank you for your interest!

May/June Meeting Notes from the Act 230 Working Group – Progress Reports and Ongoing Delays