The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health posted interim administrative rules for the medical marijuana dispensary licensing program today. The rules can be found at the DOH’s medical marijuana website  under “Dispensary Updates.”
The interim rules are effective immediately and will remain in effect until July 1, 2018, or until rules are adopted pursuant to chapter 91 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.
Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler commented in a department press release saying, “The interim rules were written first and foremost to effectively implement the medical marijuana dispensary law and get the dispensary system up and running. The rules have also been drafted to ensure patient safety, product safety and public safety, and prevent marketing to our keiki. This product is intended to be used for registered patients who need it for medical purposes and the rules are written specifically to accomplish that goal.”
The interim rules explain the criteria and process for awarding dispensary licenses; security requirements; the standards for certifying laboratories that will be responsible for ensuring the safety of the marijuana or manufactured marijuana products distributed at the retail dispensing locations; requirements for operating the dispensaries, including tracking each dispensary’s inventory of products from seed to sale or disposal; and other requirements.
To answer questions from potential applicants and the general public, DOH will post a “frequently asked questions” document on the medical marijuana website.
Anyone who has questions about the rules is invited to send them in an email to [email protected] The FAQ document will be updated with new questions and answers as often as possible. Health officials say this updated FAQ document will be the sole method DOH uses to answer questions from the public so that the process for providing this information is as fair and transparent as possible.
The medical marijuana dispensary law, chapter 329D, HRS, allows DOH to award a total of eight licenses initially: three licenses for the City and County of Honolulu, two dispensary licenses each for the County of Hawaiʻi and the County of Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauaʻi.
Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail dispensing locations. The initial open application period for licensing begins Jan. 12, 2016 and closes on Jan. 29, 2016.