The Hawaii Legislature has approved a plan to develop a system of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. The news comes 15 years after Hawaii legalized medical marijuana.
The development will provide relief to Hawaii’s 13,000 medical marijuana patients who have been forced to grow their own marijuana or buy it on the black market.
“This is a victory for children who can’t be taken care of any other way,” stated Teri Heede, who has multiple sclerosis and grows her own marijuana in Honolulu.
The House and Senate passed the bill Thursday sending it to Gov. David Ige. Ige hasn’t promised to sign the bill, but he has said his staff worked closely with lawmakers to craft the final draft of the legislation.
Under the proposal, dispensaries could begin operating as soon as July 2016. The bill allows dispensaries to open on all the major Hawaiian islands, including three on Oahu, two each on Maui and Hawaii’s Big Island and one on Kauai.
Applications for dispensary licenses would become available in January. Each dispensary license would cover up to two retail dispensing locations and two production centers, with each production center cultivating no more than 3,000 plants.