The Hawaii Department of Health is responsible for administering two distinct but related medical cannabis programs. Both the Medical Cannabis Registry Program and the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program are designed to ensure medical cannabis is accessible for Hawaii’s patients, while making patient safety and public safety its ultimate priorities.
The Medical Cannabis Registry Program was created by Act 228 (Session Laws of Hawaii 2000), and is codified in the Hawaii Revised Statutes at part IX, Chapter 329, HRS.
The Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program was created by Act 241 (Session Laws of Hawaii 2015), and is codified in the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) at Chapter 329D, HRS.
If you are planning on acquiring medical cannabis from a dispensary, you must have 1) your valid 329 card, and 2) valid state ID, valid state driver’s license, or valid passport book (not passport card) on your person to gain entry.
The Hawaii Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch has administered the Medical Cannabis Registry Program since it was transferred from the Hawaii Department of Public Safety on January 1, 2015.
Hawaii law requires all qualified patients to be registered with the Medical Cannabis Registry Program before they begin to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. The registration process begins when an appropriately licensed physician certifies that the patient has a health condition that can benefit from medical cannabis. The patient is registered when the Department of Health issues a 329 Registration Card. The department’s goal is to issue the patient’s 329 Registration Card in a timely manner so that patients can begin or continue to legally use medical cannabis.
The Department of Health is also required to provide law enforcement officials with limited access to the Medical Cannabis Registry Program’s data base as a tool to safeguard the community against illegal cannabis use and/or illegal cannabis grow sites.
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If you wish to communicate with the Medical Cannabis Registry Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to your inquiries as soon as humanly possible.
Registry Applicants, be sure to check your account at medmj.ehawaii.gov WEEKLY for registration status updates. Our current turnaround time is ten (10) business days. If you do NOT see a 329 Registration Number your card has not been issued, yet. If you do see a 329 Registration Number, please allow ample time for postal delivery. Please do not call or email for status updates.
The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance oversees the dispensary licensure program to monitor the quality of the cannabis products from seed to sale. This includes statewide oversight of the laboratories that test the safety and quality of the cannabis and manufactured cannabis products, and monitoring of the dispensaries who will grow, manufacture, and sell the products to qualified patients.
Act 241 was signed into law in July 2015 and became Chapter 329D, HRS. The Hawaii Department of Health will begin administering the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program in 2016 and dispensaries may begin to dispense medical cannabis and manufactured medical cannabis products as early as July 2016 with departmental approval.
Medical cannabis has been legal in Hawaii since 2000, but access to medical cannabis remained a challenge. Patients and caregivers could legally grow their own cannabis plants within certain parameters. Advocates of medical cannabis have hailed the dispensary program as a major breakthrough. The goal of the dispensary licensure program is to make medicinal products readily available for registered patients while balancing the health and safety of patients and the public.
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If you wish to communicate with the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program, please email email@example.com. We will respond to your inquiries as soon as humanly possible.
Dispensary Applicants, be sure to regularly check Dispensary Updates (on the left side of this page) for information on dispensary licensing requirements, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and other valuable updates.
Medical Cannabis Laws, Rules, and Other Relevant Resources
Act 228 SLH 2000 – Hawaii’s initial Medical Use of Cannabis law.
Act 178 SLH 2013 – Makes several changes to the current law (such as: “adequate supply” of medical cannabis changes to 7 plants, regardless of maturity; useable cannabis changes to 4 oz; increase in registration fees from $25 to $35; and other changes) please read Act 178 for more information.
Act 241 SLH 2015 – Hawaii’s Dispensary law that paves the way for the establishment of dispensaries in the state of Hawaii and also amends other existing laws with respect to the medical use of cannabis.
Act 242 SLH 2015 – Adds non-discriminatory language to existing laws as they may pertain to the medical use of cannabis.
Chapter 11-160, HAR – DOH Administrative Rules for the medical use of cannabis.
HRS 329 Hawaii’s Uniformed Controlled Substances Act (see part IX – Medical Use of Cannabis).
HRS 329, Part IX Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Registry Law
HRS 329D Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Law
HRS328J Hawaii’s Smoke Free Law – all of which are directly applicable to smoking or vaping cannabis.