The State of Cannabis in the Aloha State

The Maui Cannabis Conference was a two day conference at the stunning Hyatt Regency on Ka'anapali Beach. We learned a lot and we were inspired by the close sense of community, partnership, effort and dedication of Hawaii's cannabis ambassadors.   

The conference was opened with a mele, or chant, in the Hawaiian language, setting the tone for respect and aloha throughout the conference.

Highlights of what we learned:

  • Legislation took a lot of time and money. The state of Hawaii is cautious with it's legislation.
  • Hawaii legalized medical cannabis in 2000 for home growers. 
  • The first dispensary, Maui Grown Therapies, opened in 2017.
  • Maui cannabis is vertically integrated from seed to sale.
  • Hawaii dispensaries cannot advertise or have social media accounts.
  • If you can have a social media account in your state, Instagram is more engaging than Facebook, although just as likely to be shut down. Harborside lawyers fought multiple shutdowns but lost because of the Terms and Conditions. Open a new account - your followers will find you! 
  • Reciprocity is supported and should happen soon. That means as a visitor, or part time resident, if you have a medical card from another state we expect you can get medicine in Hawaii soon.
  • Hawaii dispensaries have the most prestigious, experienced, respected practitioners advising them: Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Sue Sisley, Michael Backes. WOW! That is incredible.
  • Registered medical cards as of 2017: 19,838 patients are 65% male and 35% female.
  • APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) and Doctors can "certify" or "consult" but they cannot prescribe. If you have a medical card "you're on your own". This is a problem nationwide. It is difficult to do efficacy studies.
  • On February 19, 2017 the state accepts petitions to add new conditions to the list of eligible conditions for medical cannabis.
  • Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside is an inspiring advocate for the benefits of cannabis for individuals and society. Those of us close to cannabis..."we listen to her lessons".
  • Community is ingrained in the social structure here. It is a circle of support, a cannabis ohana.
  • University of Hawaii has one the most advanced plant sciences programs in the country. 
  • Hawaiian culture has used plant medicine since it's inception. Plant medicine is respected here. It's pono (righteous, dharmic, balanced, respected, depending on your interpretation). "Traditional kanaka maoli lapa'au (Hawaiian medicine) used a diverse blend of insightful observation, herbal medicine (la’ au lapa’au), physical treatments, and psycho-spiritual practices including prayer, dream revelation, and peer support to address the root of the disease or the cause of trauma."
  • Farmers are respected and revered. They take care of the land and the people. We want to follow their lead.
  • Cannabis and hemp provide economic opportunity and diversity for the state.

We hope the Aloha State will be a leader in various efforts to legitimize and popularize the medicinal benefits of cannabis. It will benefit and transform the lives of people, animals and plants on this planet. 

Mahalo nui loa.


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