Recently Hawaii Governor David Ige signed legislation that will allow patients to have access to cannabis-infused edibles, after the state’s medical cannabis program was running for about 20 years. Gov. Ige signed the bill on September 15, and the development was praised by NORML on September 28.
Medical cannabis in the form of edibles has been a point of contention for some time in the islands of Hawai’i. With fears of children getting into edibles and unverified reports of trick-or-treaters getting cannabis edibles, it’s a concern for many parents.
House Bill 2097 allows licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaii “to manufacture and distribute edible cannabis products.” The Hawaii Department of Health will oversee the development of rules on the production, labeling and packaging of cannabis-infused edibles.
The new law also allows medical cannabis dispensaries to “provide, disseminate, and publish educational and scientific materials related to medical cannabis and its approved products and sponsor events about medical cannabis.”
The bill was passed by Hawaii’s state legislature last July, and was announced with an emphasis on patient needs. “Passage of HB 2097 is a victory for the state’s 30,798 registered medical cannabis patients,” Randy Gonce, Hawai‘i Cannabis Industry Association program director, said in a press release in July. “Coronavirus has prompted more patients to seek ingestible forms of cannabis to replace inhalation due to concerns about lung health, so the approval of edibles is welcome news.”
Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical cannabis via the state legislature in 2000. Although Hawaii’s medical cannabis law was signed into law over 20 years ago, it previously did not allow dispensaries to sell or distribute cannabis-infused edibles. Two decades later, the state leadership has finally come to the conclusion that edibles are generally safe and critical for certain patients.
Soon edibles will be available for medical cannabis patients in Hawaii as seen in other states with medical cannabis. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2021.