Hawaii Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Committees With Major Amendments

Hawaii Senate Bill 1458 SD2, which creates medical marijuana compassion centers was heard yesterday by the House Committees on Health and Public Safety.

The committees passed the bill with major amendments, so now it becomes SB 1458 SD2 HD1. The following are the unofficial amendments, from our notes, so please be aware that the final language of the draft may be different.

Unofficial Amendments from our notes:

  • General excise tax of 30% to go to general fund
  • Establishes a pilot program on Maui for 5 years, with one dispensary
  • Requires 24/7 live video feed to law enforcement
  • Requires 24/7 unannounced access for law enforcement
  • Non-card holders not allowed on premises
  • Dispensary must be 600 yards (not feet!) from nearest schools, etc
  • No use on premises
  • Edibles must meet DOH food production standards
  • Annual licensing fee (which is still not determined) for the dispensary will go to Maui County.

The committees on HLT recommend that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 7 Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Morikawa, C. Lee, Mizuno, Wooley; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Belatti, Pine; 1 Noes: Representative(s) Ching; and 2 Excused: Representative(s) Hanohano, Jordan.

The committees on PBM recommend that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Aquino, Cullen, Ichiyama, Luke, Yamashita; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Takumi; 3 Noes: Representative(s) M. Lee, Fontaine, Johanson; and 3 Excused: Representative(s) Saiki, Souki, Takai.

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In addition to this terrible result, tomorrow is the deadline for triple referrals…which means that SB 58 (increases plants, ounces, patient-caregiver ratio) and SB 113 (creates a 3 year research program) could die if the first hearing is not announced by March 17.

March 24 is the deadline for the double referrals, so SB 175 (moves program to Department of Health) and SB 1460 (decriminalization of one ounce) still have a chance.


Jeanne Y. Ohta is the Executive Director of Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

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