Laws and Rules

Hawaii Administrative Rules

Chapter 11-160, HAR – DOH Administrative Rules for the medical use of cannabis (Registry Program).

NEW!! Chapter 11-850 interim rules, effective November 17, 2022 – Medical Cannabis Dispensaries


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 Cannabis – begins with §329-121 and is specific to the Medical Cannabis Registry).
  • HRS 329D Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Law


Other 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.

  • HRS328J Hawaii’s Smoke Free Law – all of which are directly applicable to smoking or vaping cannabis
  • HRS 712 – Please read applicable sections of this law for the most current information pertaining to consequences for the possession and cultivation of cannabis that fall outside of  (and are not protected under) the medical cannabis program.  This Summary Article may help as it pertains to Cannabis 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 cannabis 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 cannabis = misdemeanor.
  • HRS 712-1249 – Promotion in the third degree – possession of any cannabis (and not registered) = petty misdemeanor.
  • HRS 712-1249.4 – Commercial promotion in the first degree – possession of 25+ lbs of cannabis; distribution of 5+lbs of cannabis; 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 cannabis; distribution of 1+lb of cannabis; possess, cultivate or under ones control 50+ plants; cultivation of any cannabis 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.

Session Laws Of Hawaii

Act 108 SLH 2023 – Authorizes the department of health to allow a patient’s written certification to be valid for three years. Defines “waiting room” within a medical cannabis retail dispensing location and clarifies public access to the waiting room. Amends the rulemaking authority for dispensary-to-dispensary sales. Permits a selling dispensary to transport an amount other than eight hundred ounces of cannabis or manufactured cannabis products with prior approval of the department of health. Amends the dispensary program licensing fee structure. Adds or clarifies requirements for the dispensary program related to signage, packaging, security requirements and restrictions regarding waiting rooms, permitted types of manufactured cannabis products, supervision of certain personnel while onsite at retail dispensing locations or medical cannabis production centers, and the department of health’s education and training program. Clarifies penalties for violations of the dispensary law. Makes various housekeeping amendments.

Act 309 SLH 2022 – Amends the circumstances under which medical cannabis may be transported by and between dispensaries. Extends the date after which primary caregivers will no longer be authorized to cultivate cannabis for a qualifying patient. Redefines the term “medical cannabis production center” to include any series of structures located within the same secured perimeter fence-line. Increases the number of production centers that may be allowed under a dispensary license. Increases the allowable number of plants for production centers. Requires the department of health to establish the fee structure for the submission of applications for additional production centers and dispensary-to-dispensary sales. Appropriates funds for an assessment of the medical cannabis dispensary licensing framework.

Act 169 SLH 2021 – To adopt administrative rules to establish patient registration fees in FY 2022 & establish a task force to explore developing a cannabis dual system program of legalization. This task force will explore the issues and impact of legalization on qualifying patient.

Act 116 SLH 2018 – Makes several changes to the current law:

  1. Extends the validity of the certification with the concurrence of the patient and patient’s physician/APRN.
  2. Safe Pulmonary Administration (SPA) products have been added to the list of approved “merch” licensed medical cannabis retail dispensaries may sell to qualifying patients.
  3. Patients who are registered for medical cannabis use in other states may be able to benefit from our program while visiting the islands.
  4. One or both parents/guardians are now allowed to register as caregivers for one or more qualifying minor patients.
  5. The bona fide provider-patient relationship may continue via telehealth after the relationship has been established by a face-to-face consultation.

Act 170 SLH 2017 – amends all references to Medical “Marijuana” to read Medical “Cannabis” in chapter 329 D, part IX of chapter 329, and sections 46-4, 201-13.9, 209E-2, 235-2.4, 237-24.3, 304A-1865, 321-30.1, 329-43.5, 421J-16, 453-1.3, 514A-88.5, 514B-113, 521-39, and 846-2.7 AND in Title 11 HAR (11-160 and 11-850). Change in language (documents, letterhead, websites, etc.) must be complete by 12/31/2019.

Act 041 SLH 2017 – amends part IX chapter 329 (Registry Program) and chapter 329 D (Dispensary Program). Effective 6/29/2017.

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

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

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


Federal Guidance

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “Controlled Substance-Related Activity and Good Moral Character Determinations”, April 19, 2019

U.S. Department of Justice “Marijuana Enforcement” , January 4, 2018.

U.S. Department of Justice “Final Rule” to Amend 21 CFR 1308.11(d) to include a new subparagraph (58) Marijuana Extract – 7350 in Schedule I  December 14, 2016.

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.