General Information

Med-mari-general-infoEffective January 1, 2015, Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Program was transferred from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health, according to Act 177.   At the same time, Act 178  amended sections of HRS 329 Part IX.  Some notable changes, which became effective January 1, 2015, were:

  • “Adequate supply” changed from “three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana” to “seven marijuana plants, whether immature or mature, and four ounces of usable marijuana at any given time.”
  • Notification of changes to information on the application – if the information provided to the department of health for registration changes, the registered program participant MUST report this change to the department of health “within ten working days” of the change. The previous requirement was “within five working days”

On July 14, 2015, HB321 was signed into law and Act 241 pertaining to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary System further amended HRS 329 Part IX with direct impact to the Registry Program, some notable changes, which became effective July 1, 2015, are:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder was added as an eligible debilitating medical condition.
  • 329-123 was amended to remove the requirement that a certifying physician be the qualifying patient’s primary care physician and added a requirement that the certifying physician maintain a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient.
  • 329-122 was amended to prohibit inter-island transportation of marijuana, usable marijuana, or any manufactured marijuana product.  It was further amended to allow registered patients and caregivers OR dispensary owners and employees to transport medical marijuana in public IF the medical marijuana is:
    • In a sealed container
    • Not visible to the public, and
    • Not removed from the sealed container or consumed or used in any way while it is in the public place
  • After December 31, 2018, no primary caregiver shall be authorized to cultivate marijuana for any qualifying patient.
  • Patients and caregivers are now prohibited from using “butane to extract tetrahydrocannabinol from marijuana plants.”
  • 329-126 was amended to require that certifying physicians comply with [patient] registration requirements of section 329-123 in order to be protected under the law.

To get a complete understanding of ALL changes to the law, read Act 241.  Act 241 was codified into Hawaii statute as Hawaii Revised Statute 329D (this link does NOT reflect any changes from the 28th legislature, 2016 – such as HB 2707 CD1 that was signed into law on July 11, 2016 as Act 230). You may also search specific statutes at

Act 230 – makes the following changes specific to the Registry Program effective July 1, 2016:

  • ›Section 6: Drug Paraphernalia – §329-43.5 will not be applicable to individuals authorized under registry or dispensary laws.
  • ›Section 7: Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) will be able to certify patients for the Registry Program and all references in part IX, §329 to the certifying “physician” has been amended to include APRNs.
  • ›Section 8: Transportation – amends part IX, §329-122 (d) by allowing the transportation of medical marijuana between a dispensary “production center or retail dispensing location and a certified laboratory for the purpose of laboratory testing”, inclusive of inter island transportation for the sole purpose of laboratory testing and within jurisdictional limits of the state.
  • ›Section 23: Establishment of a 20 member – Legislative Oversight Working Group within the public policy center in the college of social sciences at UH Manoa.  See HB2707 for all members included in this group.  Also see the Public Policy Center’s website for meeting notices and minutes – the group meets monthly.

NOTE: Act 230 also makes many clarifying changes to other existing laws as they may pertain to Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana program.  All of these updates, amendments, or additions are NOT referenced here.

Other Documents related to Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Program

Act 228 SLH 2000 – Hawaii’s initial Medical Use of Marijuana law.

Act 178 SLH  2013 – Makes several changes to the current law (such as: “adequate supply” of medical marijuana changes to 7 plants, regardless of maturity; useable marijuana 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 marijuana.

Act 242 SLH 2015 – Adds non-discriminatory language to existing laws as it may pertain to the medical use of marijuana.

Act 230 SLH 2016 – Clarifies various various medical marijuana laws in the state of Hawaii.

Chapter 11-160, HAR – DOH Administrative Rules for the medical use of marijuana.

Chapter 11-160-56, HAR, Amendments to Confidential Information provides for exceptions to allow DOH to disclose certain registration information to authorized persons associated with medical marijuana dispensary system and federal law enforcement officials for official law enforcement purposes.

Applicable Hawaii Revised Statutes – note, the links below are direct to the Hawaii State Legislature.  Any NEW legislative action, or actions that change existing laws, will not be reflected until November (ish) of the same year.

  • HRS 329 Hawaii’s Uniformed Controlled Substances Act (part IX – Medical Use of Marijuana – begins with §329-121 and is specific to the Medical Marijuana Registry).
  • HRS 329D Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Law
  • HRS328J Hawaii’s Smoke Free Law – all of which are directly applicable to smoking or vaping marijuana
  • HRS 712 – Please read applicable sections of this law for the most current information pertaining to consequences for the possession and cultivation of marijuana that fall outside of  (and are not protected under) the medical marijuana program.  This Summary Article may help as it pertains to Marijuana Laws in Hawaii – Disclaimer: DOH does not endorse this site.  This link is being provided as a courtesy to help summarize parts of HRS 712 that may be applicable to individuals that are not compliant with the medical marijuana registry program and assist you further in researching applicable laws.
  • HRS 712-1247 – Promotion in the first degree – cultivating 25 – 49 plants = class C felony.
  • HRS 712-1248 – Promotion in the second degree – possession of once ounce+ of marijuana = misdemeanor.
  • HRS 712-1249 – Promotion in the third degree – possession of any marijuana (and not registered) = petty misdemeanor.
  • HRS 712-1249.4 – Commercial promotion in the first degree – possession of 25+ lbs of marijuana; distribution of 5+lbs of marijuana; possess, cultivate or under ones control 100+ plants; cultivation of 25+ plants on land owned by another person w/o permission; = class A felony.
  • HRS 712-1249.5 – Commercial promotion in the second degree – possession of 2+lbs of marijuana; distribution of 1+lb of marijuana; possess, cultivate or under ones control 50+ plants; cultivation of any marijuana on land owned by other person w/o express permission or the legal right to occupy the land; = class B felony.
  • HRS 712-1249.6 -Commercial promotion in the third degree = class C felony.

Federal Guidance

U.S. Department of Justice “Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy”  August 29, 2013.

U.S. Department of Justice “Cole Memorandum” June 29, 2011.

U.S. Department of Justice “Formal Medical Marijuana Guidelines”  October 9, 2009.

U.S. Department of Justice “Firearms Guidance” September 21, 2011.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Guidance” February 10, 2011.




It’s NOT okay to drive a motor vehicle when under the influence of medical marijuana.