The seminar comes following the passage of House Bill 321 in the state legislature, that legalizes medical marijuana dispensary systems in Hawaiʻi, including two in Maui County. The bill still awaits the governor’s signature, veto, or passage without his signature.
The medical marijuana program in Hawaiʻi has been in operation for 14 years but is being transferred to the Department of Health, effective Jan. 1, 2015. In preparation for this transition, state health officials say there will be a planned blackout period from Dec. 12 to 31 in which no certifications will be issued.
House Speaker Joseph Souki of Maui called on his fellow lawmakers to look at creating a system of dispensaries where those in need can legally buy marijuana for medical purposes when prescribed by a doctor.
Approved today were measures to move program oversight away from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health, and to adjust the type and amount of medical marijuana a patient can legally possess.
The bill seeks to remove penalties for private adult marijuana possession, and establish a system in which the cultivation and sale of marijuana would be regulated and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.
With states now decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana, where does Hawaii stand? Attitudes toward marijuana and marijuana laws is the subject of a statewide poll, the results of which will be discussed during a presentation tomorrow in Honolulu.