Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Governor Sign Medical Marijuana Improvements

On Thursday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed into law H.B. 1488, a bill to expand the existing medical marijuana dispensary program.

H.B. 1488 adds rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis to the list of qualifying conditions and allows patients and caregivers to access testing facilities. Patients and caregivers will be allowed to cultivate three additional plants of any maturity, for a total of 10 plants. The phasing out of caregivers’ ability to grow marijuana plants for patients has been pushed back five years, to the end of 2023.

The new law, which goes into effect on June 29, also authorizes the Department of Health to permit current licensees to open one additional dispensary — for a possible total of 24 statewide — and allows them to cultivate more plants at their production sites. It also amends certain deadlines and relaxes overly restrictive laboratory standards to accelerate implementation.

With the updated regulations, laboratories should find it easier to meet the requirements for certification. Several dispensaries are ready to start serving patients but cannot do so until they can submit their products for the required testing.

Congratulations and thank you to Gov. Ige, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and all of the advocates and lawmakers who made these improvements possible.

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Tax and Regulate

Oregon Now Accepting Marijuana Business Applications

Monday marked the start of the application process for those seeking to operate a business that would serve the adult retail market in Oregon.2000px-Seal_of_Delaware.svg Applicants can now apply to be a non-medical marijuana producer, processor, wholesaler, laboratory, or retailer, or obtain a research certificate, on the state’s website.

Those with questions may send them to marijuana@oregon.gov or call (503) 872-6366. A comprehensive FAQ has been set up for those interested in the state’s recreational program.

This stage marks an important milestone in the transition now underway in the state. Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries participating in early-start recreational sales can provide cannabis for adult consumers, with dedicated shops serving the adult market coming online late this year. Monday also marked the first day that sales taxes apply for retail transactions. Participating medical dispensaries are now taxed at 25% for non-patient sales, but the sales tax could be as low as 17% for those with retail licenses.

State licensing officials report they will focus on cultivation and testing lab applications at the outset to help ensure production can begin as early as possible, and licenses could be issued in the spring. Retail shops are expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

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