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Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii as of 2023, and several licensed dispensaries have been approved by the state to sell cannabis products to eligible patients. As a result, cannabis dispensaries have become a familiar presence in many areas of Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health is responsible for overseeing the state’s medical cannabis program, which includes processing applications and regulating licensed dispensaries to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.

Hawaii’s medical cannabis program began with the issuance of eight licenses following the first application period, which closed on January 29, 2016. The state has not given any indication of granting additional licenses anytime soon, which suggests that the growth of Hawaii’s cannabis industry will likely depend on adult-use legislation. The eight licensed dispensaries can grow, process, distribute, and sell medical cannabis to patients who hold valid medical licenses. The first dispensary opened in 2017, and they continue to operate in compliance with state regulations.

To open a dispensary in Hawaii, there are several fees that need to be paid. The first is a non-refundable application fee of $5,000. Additionally, a Dispensary License Initial Fee of $75,000 is required to be paid upon approval of the application. Once approved, dispensaries must also pay a Dispensary License Renewal Fee of $50,000 to continue operating. It’s important to note that these fees may be subject to change over time

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Hawaii has a long history with cannabis, dating back to the 1800s when it was used as a cash crop. However, in recent decades, the state has taken a more conservative approach to cannabis policy.

In 2000, Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical cannabis through legislation, allowing qualified patients to purchase and possess medical cannabis for certain conditions. Efforts to legalize recreational cannabis in Hawaii have so far been unsuccessful. However, there have been ongoing discussions and efforts to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis, and to create a regulatory framework for recreational cannabis use in the state.

In addition to its medical cannabis program, Hawaii has also established a hemp pilot program to explore the potential benefits of industrial hemp.

Overall, Hawaii’s cannabis policy remains limited, with only medical cannabis legal in the state. While there have been some recent efforts to expand access to medical cannabis, ongoing concerns about access and affordability suggest that there is still significant work to be done to ensure that patients have access to the care they need.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.