Though there are about 13,000 medical cannabis patients in Hawaii, there’s no place for anyone to legally purchase the plant. Currently, patients grow their own, though technically there is nowhere to legally purchase seed or even clones – state law doesn’t even address that.
To address that issue, the Hawaii House Health Committee is looking into the possibility of creating legal dispensaries.
The Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Task Force is currently in the planning stages and will meet at least six times before presenting their finding to the legislature later this year. So far the 25-member task force have heard public testimony in favor of dispensaries as well as people vehemently opposed.
“One of the things we are really going to be looking at is how do we provide safe access to our medical patients but still address the security concerns which have been raised,” Della Belatti, an attorney and member of the task force told Radio Australia. “There are security concerns around where and how it (marijuana) is going to be grown.”
Belatti says that the current home-grow system is “hit or miss”.
“It’s (marijuana) available for patients who are qualified, they have to have some sort of debilitating disease which is outlined in the law,” she said. “With dispensaries you can also look at quality control and knowing what’s in the medicine you are taking.”
And that was the goal of the House Concurrent Resolution that created the task force. From the resolution:
“A regulated statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana will enable qualifying patients to obtain an inspected, safe supply of medical cannabis that is labeled as to the composition, strain, and strength of the cannabis to be most helpful to each patient’s condition. A tightly regulated dispensary system for medical marijuana will comport with the spirit and intent of the Medical Use of Marijuana Law: compassion for Hawaii’s suffering patients and the provision of safe, legal, and reliable access for qualifying patients.”
The task force will present their findings before the start of the 2015 Hawaii legislative session.