Back in 2000, then governor of Hawaii Ben Cayetano signed Act 228 into law, which allowed marijuana cardholders to grow their own plants. However, the law didn’t establish a legalized marker for marijuana dispensaries.
In 2015, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program of Hawaii was established as a means to help those who qualify for medical marijuana to register before the use of the drug. Registration required documents from licensed physicians that ascertained that the health condition of a patient can be treated with medical marijuana. From there patients are issued cards by the Department of Health, which help ensure that the patients are able to begin their legal and medicinal use of marijuana.
Act 241 was also passed in 2015, which states that the Department of Health will administer the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program and marijuana dispensaries will be able to dispense medical and manufactured marijuana products upon approval by the Department of Health.
The Senate also introduced Bill 321 in 2016. The bill established a dispensary system, allowing just eight dispensaries in the state. In 2017, Mau saw the first sale from a medical marijuana dispensary.
Industrial hem in Hawaii was allowed in 2016, when Governor David Ige signed Act 228, which created a pilot program that allowed the Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp for academic and agro research
In February, the state’s House of Representatives Agricultural Committee passed legislation to remove civil or criminal punishments for the “planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, selling, or buying” of industrial hemp.
In July 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that permitted thee use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in the state, with the legislation serving as the result of a lengthy debate in the Senate and a Senate vote that ended 49-10.
Cuomo’s signing began an 18-month window for New York’s Department of Health to develop a medical marijuana program that will provide a non-smoked method off consuming cannabis for patients. The legislation also awarded five contracts to private growers of marijuana who would each be given permission to operate four dispensaries
Studies on recreational use
Governor Cuomo, while giving his 2018 State of the State address, urged the New York State Legislature to provide financing for a study on the effects of providing legal marijuana for recreational use. The proposed study would be conducted by the Department of Health in order to examine a wide array of issues, including the economic, legal and social consequences of allowing recreational marijuana in the state.
The Department of Health completed the study and has recommended that New York can legalize marijuana. The Department cited benefits to the economy, public health and public safety of New York citizens. Cuomo also stated that New York should “legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” while also adding that his marijuana legalization proposal would be added to New York’s 2019 budget.
From all indications, it is expected that New York will pass marijuana legalization laws soon. Hawaii is also not too far behind, although legal structures need to be framed in order to ensure that the state is able to bear the ramifications of marijuana legalization