Hawaii is one of the dozens of American states with a functioning medical marijuana program. However, despite various attempts to legalize recreational weed, the Aloha State has yet to complete the process. It seems a matter of time since the state’s Senate approved an adult-use marijuana bill. Yet, the legislation must still go through the Hawaiian House of Representatives, which is no guarantee.
Thus, the only way to access the substance is by applying for medical marijuana in Hawaii. This article guides you through the process and provides an overview of the program.
Why Get Your HI Medical Marijuana Card?
Those who favor medical marijuana in Hawaii point to various possible benefits. According to research on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, an overwhelming number of people use the substance to tackle chronic pain. The good news is that pain is almost always a qualifying medical condition in MMJ programs.
Users also note relief from stress/anxiety, while a significant percentage have no noticeable adverse effects. According to the study authors, cannabis is a potentially safe and effective medication for chronic pain patients. So, it makes sense to apply for medical marijuana in Hawaii if you have a qualifying medical condition. Let’s learn more about the process and the program’s history.
It Took a Long Time for Hawaii to Embrace MMJ
The history of medical marijuana in Hawaii involves a great deal of frustration. In 2000, the state’s governor signed Act 228 into law. It was supposed to allow medical marijuana patients to cultivate the substance at home. Yet, it didn’t establish a market for legal sales.
MMJ patients had to wait over 15 years to buy the substance from dispensaries. This situation occurred due to the passing of Act 241 in July 2015, which stated that the Hawaii Department of Health would administer a dispensary program by 2016. Then, Senate Bill 321 established a dispensary system in 2016. Yet, the first legal sale from an MMJ dispensary in Hawaii didn’t occur until August 2017!
These days, applying for MMJ in the Aloha State is fairly easy. Below, we outline how to get a medical marijuanas card in Hawaii.
Applying for a Hawaiian MMJ Card
Initially, the MMJ card was known as the “Blue Card”, but today, it’s called the “329 card.” Step one involves registering for the state’s MMJ program. From there, it’s a question of scheduling a medical consultation and receiving the approval of a licensed Hawaiian physician.
This meeting shouldn’t take more than a quarter of an hour. During it, you discuss your medical condition with the medical professional. They will review your medical records and decide whether you’re a viable candidate. If they believe MMJ will help you, they will provide their approval and complete their section of the application form.
Next, it’s time to complete the application. Please ensure you have a valid email address and a copy of your photo I.D. The Hawaiian Department of Health is notorious for expecting zero application mistakes and has no hesitation in sending forms back. Thus, triple-check the form to ensure there are no errors.
Now, you must return to your doctor so they can review your application. They will send it to the DOH on your behalf. If it is happy with the form, it will mail you the 329 card. For the record, the average waiting time is around three weeks.
As an MMJ patient, you’re legally permitted to buy four ounces of marijuana within a 15-day period. Alternatively, you can purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis concentrate. If you’re eligible for medical marijuana in Hawaii, you’re also entitled to cultivate up to 10 plants at home, but only after divulging the location of the grow to the DOH.
An MMJ Card in Hawaii Keeps You Out of Trouble!
If you intend to use cannabis in HI, a medical marijuana card is essential. You could spend up to 30 days in prison if found in possession of a few grams of the substance. Anyone caught with over an ounce could spend a year in jail. Thus, it is essential to apply for medical marijuana in Hawaii if you want to use the plant legally and avoid getting into trouble with law enforcement.