Twenty-one members of a legislative task force met Tuesday to come up with recommendations on how to make medical marijuana more accessible to patients.

A state report looked at how other states manage use and distribution, and found no perfect plan for Hawaii to model itself after. It also found that taking medical marijuana between our islands is a federal crime, even though it’s within the same state.

Two public hearings are scheduled to obtain public testimony on issues and concerns regarding dispensaries in Hawaii and any input on the updated Legislative Reference Bureau report.

  • Hilo: Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. at Aupuni Center
  • Honolulu: Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 5 p.m. at the State Capitol auditorium

The Dispensary System Task Force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation to the 2015 Legislature. 

The program currently only allows qualifying patients to use medical marijuana, but does not provide them with any method to obtain it other than for them to grow a limited amount on their own. However, the sale of marijuana—including seeds for cultivation—remains illegal under state law. As a result qualifying patients who suffer from cancer or other debilitating diseases are unable to legally acquire medical marijuana to find relief and improve the quality of their lives.

Additionally, it is uncertain whether or to what extent a qualifying patient or caregiver may transport medical marijuana anywhere outside the home on the same island, or island to island, without violating state drug enforcement laws.

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