S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's medical marijuana, or cannabis, program was enacted into law in 2000 as a public health program conceived out of compassion for the health and welfare of the seriously ill. After nine years, the experience of the program indicates that improvements to the law will help to fulfill its original intent by clarifying provisions and removing serious obstacles to patient access and physician participation.

The purpose of this Act is to amend the medical use of marijuana law to address the concerns of Hawaii's seriously ill patients. These amendments will help qualifying patients by:

(1) Increasing the caregiver-patient ratio. Because many qualifying patients are too incapacitated or otherwise unable to grow their own supply of cannabis, they must rely on caregivers. However, there are not enough caregivers to meet the demand. Therefore, this Act will increase the ratio of patient to caregiver from one-to-one to four-to-one. This will also assist qualifying patients who share housing and are therefore in a good position to share caregivers;

(2) Increasing the amount of cannabis permitted per patient or caregiver to amounts consistent with other states to better meet the therapeutic needs of the patient and in recognition of the difficulty of maintaining a consistent and adequate supply;

(3) Enhancing patient confidentiality and security by requiring that the location where the cannabis is grown be kept confidential and omitted from the registry card issued by the department of public safety; and

(4) Clarifying that the department of public safety's forms may not require more information than is required by the medical use of marijuana law and further clarifying that the department may not require that the qualifying patient's physician be the primary care physician.

SECTION 2. Part IX of Chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"329-   Transfers. A registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver may provide usable cannabis or any part of the cannabis plant to other registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers whether or not they are connected by the department's registration process; provided that no consideration is paid for the cannabis and that the recipient does not exceed the adequate supply amount specified in section 329-121."

SECTION 3. Section 329-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read:

""Reimbursement" means consideration provided to primary caregivers as compensation for costs associated with assisting registered qualifying patients' medical use of marijuana. Reimbursement shall not include the sale of controlled substances."

2. By amending the definition of "adequate supply" to read:

""Adequate supply" means an amount of [marijuana] cannabis jointly possessed between the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver that is not more than is reasonably necessary to assure the uninterrupted availability of [marijuana] cannabis for the purpose of alleviating the symptoms or effects of a qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition; provided that an "adequate supply" shall not exceed [three mature marijuana] ten cannabis plants[, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce] and five ounces of usable [marijuana per each mature plant.] cannabis at any given time."

3. By amending the definition of "primary caregiver" to read:

""Primary caregiver" means a person[,] eighteen years of age or older, other than the qualifying patient and the qualifying patient's physician, [who is eighteen years of age or older] who has agreed, with or without reimbursement, to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of the qualifying patient with respect to the medical use of marijuana. In the case of a minor or an adult lacking legal capacity, the primary caregiver shall be a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody."

4. By amending the definition of "written certification" to read:

""Written certification" means the qualifying patient's medical records or a statement signed by a qualifying patient's physician, stating that in the physician's professional opinion, the qualifying patient has a debilitating medical condition and the potential benefits of the medical use of [marijuana] cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient. The department of public safety may require, through its rulemaking authority, that all written certifications comply with a designated form. The form may not require that the signing physician be the qualifying patient's primary care physician. The form may request the address of the location where the cannabis is grown, but the information shall be confidential and shall not appear on the registry card issued by the department. "Written certifications" are valid for only one year from the time of signing."

SECTION 4. Section 329-122, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the medical use of [marijuana] cannabis by a qualifying patient shall be permitted only if:

(1) The qualifying patient has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition;

(2) The qualifying patient's physician has certified in writing that, in the physician's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical use of [marijuana] cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the particular qualifying patient; and

(3) The amount of [marijuana] cannabis possessed by the qualifying patient does not exceed an adequate supply."

SECTION 5. Section 329-123, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]329-123[]] Registration requirements. (a) Physicians who issue written certifications shall [register the names, addresses, patient identification numbers,] provide, in each certification, the name, address, patient identification number, and other identifying information of the qualifying patients [issued written certifications with the department of public safety]. The information shall include the physician's attestation that the qualifying patient has one of the debilitating medical conditions defined in section 329-121 but shall not name or describe the particular condition. If the physician issuing the written certification is not the qualifying patient's primary care physician, the issuing physician shall send a copy of the written certification to the qualifying patient's primary care physician, if any.

(b) Qualifying patients shall register with the department of public safety. [Such] The registration shall be effective until the expiration of the certificate issued by the physician. Every qualifying patient shall provide sufficient identifying information to establish the personal identity of the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver. Qualifying patients shall report changes in information within five working days. Every qualifying patient shall have only one primary caregiver at any given time. The department shall [then] issue to the qualifying patient a registration certificate[,] and may charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $25[.] per year.

(c) Primary caregivers shall register with the department of public safety. [Every] No primary caregiver shall be responsible for the care of [only one] more than four qualifying [patient] patients at any given time.

(d) The department may require, in rules adopted under chapter 91, that a registration be based on information contained in a designated form completed by or on behalf of a qualifying patient. The form shall only require information from the applicant, primary caregiver, and certifying physician as specifically required or permitted by this chapter.

[(d)] (e) Upon [an] inquiry by a law enforcement agency, the department of public safety shall verify whether the [particular qualifying patient] subject of the inquiry has registered with the department and may provide reasonable access to the registry information for official law enforcement purposes."

SECTION 6. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 7. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.




Report Title:

Medical Cannabis



Increases the amount of cannabis that constitutes an adequate amount by allowing a qualifying patient to possess ten cannabis plants and five ounces of cannabis at any given time. Makes identification of the site where cannabis is grown confidential. Prohibits the department of public safety from requiring that a certifying physician be the patient's primary care physician. Prohibits certifying physicians from naming or describing a patient's particular debilitating condition. Increases the permissible ratio of patients to caregivers by allowing a caregiver to grow cannabis for no more than four patients. (SD1)




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