Report Title:

Medical Marijuana



Allows a qualifying patient to possess 12 marijuana plants and 7 ounces of marijuana at one time. Prohibits identification of the site where marijuana is grown on a registry card. Prohibits a certifying physician from naming a patient's particular debilitating condition. Allows a caregiver to grow marijuana for no more than 5 patients.




H.B. NO.














relating to medical marijuana.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's medical marijuana 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 eight years in effect, 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 the patient access and physician participation contemplated by the legislature when the law was initially enacted.

The purpose of this Act is to make certain amendments to 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 marijuana, 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 five-to-one. This will also assist qualifying patients who share housing and are therefore in good position to share caregivers;

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

(3) Enhancing patient confidentiality and security by requiring that the location of where the marijuana 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 by clarifying that the department may not require the qualifying patient's physician to be their primary care physician.

SECTION 2. Section 329-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

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

""Adequate supply" means an amount of marijuana 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 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] twelve marijuana plants[, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce] and seven ounces of usable marijuana [per each mature plant.] at any given time."

2. 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 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 patient's primary care physician. The form may request the address of the location where the marijuana 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] date of signing unless the physician specifies a shorter duration."

SECTION 3. 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 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 would likely outweigh the health risks for the particular qualifying patient; and

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

SECTION 4. 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 patient has one of the debilitating medical conditions defined in section 329-121 but shall not name or describe the particular condition.

(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 five qualifying [patient] patients at any given time.

(d) The department may require, in rules adopted under chapter 91, that a registration shall 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 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 6. 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 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.