Hawaii laboratories set to test cannabis

With HB 1488 in the legislature right now, sources say that the passage is all but guaranteed  and will be signed by Governor Ige. This bill would open the door for laboratories in Honolulu to individually test patients' cannabis for potency, pesticides, molds, etc. The bill revises Act 329 in many ways.

The bill reads:

Amends the definition of "adequate supply" of marijuana to include seven marijuana seedlings. Amends the definition of "debilitating medical condition" to include lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and autism as conditions that qualify for the legal use of medical marijuana. Amends the definition of the term "transport" to allow qualified patients and primary caregivers to transport up to one gram of medical marijuana for laboratory testing under certain conditions. Limits each location used to cultivate marijuana to use by five qualifying patients. Authorizes primary caregivers to cultivate marijuana for qualifying patients until December 31, 2020. Adds considerations for establishing marijuana testing standards and selecting additional dispensary licensees. Allows DOH to consider whether existing dispensary licensees shall be allowed to increase plant count, increase the number of production centers, or increase the number of retail dispensing locations. Requires retention of video security recordings of production centers and dispensaries for 45 days. Extends civil service exemptions and interim rule making authority to 2020. Authorizes an alternate medical marijuana dispensary tracking system for use when the DOH computer tracking system in nonfunctional and requires DOH to report to the legislative oversight working group. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)

    The bill also allows patients to grow up to seven seedlings in addition to the seven maturing plants in order to insure an "uninterrupted supply". Many of these changes are thought to be long overdue by Hawaii medical marijuana patients. The answer to the question "Where do I get seeds or clones" has yet to be addressed in session.

    With medical marijuana in Hawaii still unavailable to patients via dispensary, many patients are getting tired of the delays. It is still unclear who will be opening a dispensary and when after previous dates were  pushed back twice.

   The future of cannabis in Hawaii is still unclear as investors look for new markets to put their capitol. Hawaii has the best climates to grow high grade cannabis and there is plenty of old sugarcane land available. Until Hawaii legislators get caught up to the rest of the country, patients will soon get a little relief and will be able to get their cannabis samples tested on Oahu by one of three potential labs that have already passed many strict standards and qualified with the DEA and Hawaii State Narcotics Enforcement Division.

   What ever becomes of cannabis laws in Hawaii, the legend of the world's best weed persists as stoners come from all over the world to sample Hawaii's finest pakalolo.

Jason Lamoore