A joint Senate/House conference committee in Hawaii has given approval to a modified version of House Bill 321, which would legalize the distribution of medical cannabis through state-sanctioned dispensaries. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it’s already passed 23 to 2, and to the House of Representatives. Its passage in both chambers will send it to Governor David Ige for consideration.
House Bill 321 would authorize 16 dispensaries and 16 production centers throughout the state, which would supply medical cannabis to qualified patients.
The state Department of Health would begin accepting applications for licenses between Jan. 11th and 29th of next year, with awardees announced on April 15th. Dispensaries could open for business as early as July 15th.
In Hawaii, medical cannabis has been legal since 2000, but patients are left with no legal means of obtaining the medicine.
“This is legislation that is much needed. It has been needed for the past 15 years,” says Representative Della Au Belatti, who Chairs the House Health Committee. “We’re closing the loop in addressing patient needs in a very responsible way.”