In Growing Marijuana in Hawaii – HI Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Hawaii residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana is still illegal but decriminalized in the Aloha State, which is why patients with debilitating conditions still need to register for a medical marijuana card.
Overview of Medical Marijuana in Hawaii
In 2000, Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano signed Act 228 into law which legalized medical marijuana in the state. Unlike in other states, the law initially allowed patients and their caregivers to grow their own marijuana. It wasn’t until 2015 that Act 241 that Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program was signed into law.
You can read up on the rules here: Act 228 (SB862 HD1) Medical Use of Marijuana, Hawaii State Legislature.
Hawaii’s medical marijuana law allows registered patients and their caregivers to jointly possess up to four ounces. They may also cultivate up to seven (7) mature or immature plants at home.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Multiple sclerosis
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Post traumatic stress
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If your condition is not on the list, you may submit a petition for it to be added as an eligible debilitating medical condition as defined in section 121 of HRS-329. However, there is a set schedule every year when the petitions are to be reviewed and accepted, submissions that do not make it to the cutoff date will have to wait for next year.
Even patients under 18 afflicted with a qualifying condition that needs medical marijuana can register for the program, as long as they do so with the help of their parents or legal guardians. Unlike patients aged 18 and above, minor patients may have two caregivers as long as both are the patient’s parents or legal guardians. If you are applying for a minor patient, contact the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Registry Program first to ensure that you have all the needed documents.
Patients in Hawaii under 18, or those who are too ill to provide care for themselves may designate a caregiver to assist them. For minor patients, having a caregiver is a must. Here are the minimum qualifications to be a caregiver:
- A Hawaii resident at least 18 years old
- Must not be a caregiver for another patient who is not a minor
At present, caregivers may still grow for their patients but this will no longer be possible after December 31, 2023, unless there are no dispensaries on the patient’s island, or the caregiver is the parent or legal guardian of the minor patient or an adult lacking legal capacity. Caregivers may also transport medical marijuana for the patient, but only within the island.
Why should you get a medical marijuana card in Hawaii?
Since recreational marijuana is still illegal in Hawaii, those who need marijuana for their debilitating conditions have no other option but to register into the state’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program. Patients and caregivers registered into the system will have a 329 card which they can also access online via the Medical Cannabis Registry portal. You can also use this portal to check the status of your application.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Hawaii
The process of registering into Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program is fairly straightforward and can be done online. Here are the steps you need to take to get your 329 medical marijuana card in Hawaii:
For patients and caregivers
- Consult with a certifying physician/APRN. First time applicants will need to establish a bona fide physician-patient relationship by having a face-to-face in-person appointment.
- Create an account on https://medmj.ehawaii.gov and provide the required information. Hawaii residents and those who will be residing for more than 120 days in the state have to choose the “In-state patient”. Visitors from other states have to choose “Out-of-state”.
- Enter your caregiver information if you are designating one.
- Upload your required documents. Alternatively, you may wait for your physician to upload these if you provided them during your appointment. The following supporting documents are required:
- Patient ID card
- Caregiver ID card
- Caregiver certification
- Grow site certification
- Complete the process and print a copy of the receipt of your payment for your 329 card.
Those who prefer to process their registration via mail may send their completed applications to:
Medical Cannabis Registry
4348 Waialae Avenue, #648
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
A qualifying patient has to pay $38.50 for a validity of 1 year and $77 for 2 years. All fees are non-refundable, even if a card is not issued. Meanwhile, caregiver applications cost $38.50 for initial and renewal applications ($35 plus $3.50 portal administration fee) and $16.50 for a replacement or duplicate card.
Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Hawaii Medical Marijuana Card
Residents of Hawaii who need medical cannabis for their condition have to get into the state’s Medical Cannabis Registry System if they want to possess, purchase, and grow legally. An MMJ card will allow registered patients and their caregivers to jointly possess up to four ounces and cultivate up to seven (7) mature or immature plants at home.
Patients in Hawaii with at least one of the qualifying conditions below are eligible for a medical marijuana card:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
HIV or AIDS
Persistent muscle spasms
Post traumatic stress
A medical marijuana card or 329 card is the only way adult and minor patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in Hawaii. Patients registered in Hawaii’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program are also allowed to grow up to 7 plants at home.
In Hawaii, you do not need to wait for your card in the mail. Once you’ve been approved in the system, you will be able to print a card or provisional letter
A qualifying patient in Hawaii has to pay $38.50 for a validity of 1 year and $77 for 2 years. All fees are non-refundable, even if a card is not issued. Meanwhile, caregiver applications cost $38.50 for initial and renewal applications ($35 plus $3.50 portal administration fee) and $16.50 for a replacement or duplicate card.
Medical marijuana patients in Hawaii may grow up to 7 mature plants at home.
Patients registered in Hawaii’s medical marijuana program may possess up to 4 ounces.
If you’re a patient in Hawaii who needs medical marijuana for your debilitating condition, you will want to get a 329 medical marijuana card to be able to legally possess, grow and buy at dispensaries. Compared to other states, the cost of application is fairly cheap, totalling at less than $100. More importantly, a Hawaii medical marijuana card will allow the holder to grow up to 7 mature plants, which is not an option for recreational users.