Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 527

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 527 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize and regulate the manufacturing and sale of edible cannabis products, including:


(1) Establishing standards, including regulations and education protocols, for edible cannabis products;


(2) Requiring cannabis and manufactured cannabis products to include a universal symbol developed by the Department of Health; and


(3) Requiring the Department of Health to implement a cannabis product recall system.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Community Alliance on Prisons, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and Hawaii Educational Association for Licensed Therapeutic Healthcare. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Transportation, Department of Health, and Honolulu County Republican Party. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Family Forum and one individual.


Your Committee finds that studies have shown the benefits of using medical cannabis to alleviate certain serious illnesses. Edible cannabis products can be an important alternative for medical cannabis patients who cannot tolerate other forms of cannabis ingestion. Your Committee further finds that several states currently permit the sale of edible cannabis products for medical use, although these states generally place restrictions on edible cannabis products.


Your Committee notes that in 2018, the Department of Health convened the Medical Cannabis Outstanding Issues Working Group, pursuant to Act 116, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018. The working group was tasked with making recommendations regarding the authorization and regulation of the manufacture and dispensing of edible cannabis products by licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. This measure incorporates all of the recommendations of the working group intended to enhance product safety, including setting standards for the manufacturing of edible cannabis products, requiring the use of a universal symbol, and implementation of a product recall system.


However, your Committee has heard the concerns raised in testimony regarding the legalization of manufactured cannabis products proposed by this measure. According to testimony from the Department of Health, edible cannabis products are responsible for the majority of cannabis intoxications, with children most likely to be affected. Edible cannabis products may be indistinguishable from cannabis-free counterparts and are meant to be palatable, which increases the risk of overdosing. Users may not realize the delayed effects of ingested cannabis, which may lead to overconsumption of edibles.


Your Committee appreciates these concerns and concludes that further discussions are needed regarding edible cannabis products. Convening a working group will be an effective way to continue discussions about the concerns raised in testimony.


Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Requiring the Department of Health to convene a working group to propose standards, regulations, protocols, and recommendations for legislation regarding edible medical cannabis products, including the development of a universal symbol and quality control procedures that emphasize a recall system for retail products;


(2) Specifying the composition of the working group;


(3) Requiring the working group to submit a report to the Legislature prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020;


(4) Removing language that would have authorized the manufacturing and sale of medical cannabis products; required the Department of Health to develop a universal symbol to be displayed on all cannabis and manufactured cannabis products; and required the Department of Health to implement a cannabis product recall system;


(5) Updating its purpose section; and


(6) 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 S.B. No. 527, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 527, 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,