Medical cannabis patients often face restrictions when they travel that prevent them from bringing their medicine with them. Transporting cannabis across state lines, for example, even for a medical cardholder, is a federal crime. At the same time, Hawaii continues to set tourism records, year after year. But with 2,500 miles between Hawaii and the nearest U.S. state with legal medical cannabis, tourist-patients have had to worry about access. But not anymore. On Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health launched a new online registration for in-state and out-of-state patients alike. Now, it’s easy for non-residents to apply for and obtain a temporary medical cannabis license for their stay in Hawaii.
Online Registration Makes it Easy Get Your Out-of-State Medical Cannabis Permit in Hawaii
The first thing to do is make sure you’re qualified. Out-of-state patient applicants must have an active certification from their home state or territory. But the medical condition that qualifies you in your home state also has to be a qualifying condition under Hawaii’s medical marijuana law.
If you qualify, all you have to do is upload a copy of your valid medical cannabis patient license, and a valid government-issued ID. Even minors can apply for an out-of-state permit if they meet the eligibility criteria. And because the application is online, you won’t have to wait for your temporary Hawaii permit to arrive in the mail. Instead, patients can apply up to 60 days prior to their visit to Hawaii. In fact, visitors can even select the day they want their Hawaii medical card to become active. And that’s important, because non-residents can only apply for a medical card twice a year. So don’t let any of those days go to waste; out-of-state licenses are good for a maximum 60 days.
For the online convenience, patients will have to pony up an application processing fee. For out-of-state patients, the fee is $49.50. After you pay and submit your application, expect a short, likely same-day turnaround. If Hawaii approves your application, your out-of-state card will be available online immediately. You can either print it or simply save it on your mobile device. Patients can access their Hawaii medical cannabis cards electronically, 24/7, and don’t have to worry about lost or stolen registrations.
Finally, keep in mind that Hawaii’s purchase limits may be different from your home state. Hawaii permits patients to purchase up to 4 ounces in 15 days or up to eight ounces in 30 days.
Medical Cannabis Reciprocity Will Boost Hawaii’s Already Successful Medical Cannabis Program
In 2018, Hawaii medical dispensaries sold more than $12.5 million worth of cannabis products. That’s about 1,569 pounds of medical marijuana, according to the state Health Department. Health Director Bruce Anderson estimates that out-of-state patients could boost those figures anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. Currently, Hawaii has about 25,000 in-state patients registered with its medical cannabis program.
Going forward, qualified medical cannabis patients from 32 other states, four U.S. territories and the District of Columbia will all be able to legally purchase medical cannabis from any local dispensary on the islands.