The proposal, which was approved 24 to 0 in the Senate, and 38 to 13 in the House of Representatives, will legalize the distribution of medical cannabis through state-licensed dispensaries, which will be supplied by licensed cultivation centers. In total, the bill authorizes 16 dispensaries (and 16 production centers) throughout the state. Qualified patients will be able to purchase their medicine from any of these 16 outlets, giving them their first means of safe access to medical cannabis since it was legalized by lawmakers in 2000.
Under House Bill 321, the Hawaii Department of Health will begin accepting applications for licenses on Jan. 11th, 2016, and will begin distributing licenses on April 15th. Dispensaries are expected to open as early as July, 2016.
There’s no word yet on when exactly Governor Ige will sign House Bill 321.