Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 2741

       H.D. 2

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 2741, H.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a working group to address reimbursement by health insurance for medical cannabis for qualifying patients.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Educational Association of Licensed Therapeutic Healthcare, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, and one individual.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Legislative Reference Bureau.


     Your Committee finds that Act 230, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, established a legislative oversight group to develop and recommend legislation to improve the medical cannabis dispensary system in the State to ensure safe and legal access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients.  Your Committee further finds that the working group explored the potential for medical cannabis costs to be reimbursable through health insurance.  However, your Committee finds that the issues surrounding health insurance reimbursement for medical cannabis are complex enough to warrant a separate, dedicated working group modeled on the original working group.


     Your Committee further finds that a plethora of voices are needed to ensure that all relevant interests are heard in the operations of this working group, including the interests of mutual benefit societies, health maintenance organizations, cannabis dispensaries, and adult and minor cannabis-using qualifying patients.  Your Committee finds that language modeled on Act 230, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, which established the original legislative oversight group, is appropriate to include these additional representatives.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Amending the membership of the working group to:


          (A)  Allow designees of the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce to serve on the working group;


          (B)  Remove the representatives from the Hawaii Medical Service Association, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, AlohaCare, and Hawaii Education Association for Licensed Therapeutic Healthcare and include instead one representative each from a mutual benefit society, health maintenance organization, licensed cannabis dispensary, and Medicaid managed care plan, to serve at the invitation of the chairs of the working group; and


          (C)  Add an adult cannabis-using qualifying patient and a parent or legal guardian of a minor cannabis-using qualifying patient;


     (2)  Authorizing the working group to request assistance and feedback from other stakeholders, as needed;


     (3)  Requesting the Legislative Research Bureau to provide staff assistance to the working group;


     (4)  Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and


     (5)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2741, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2741, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,