Hawaii Cannabis License Guidelines

Hawaii Department of Health

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Hawaii Department of Health is responsible for administering two distinct but related medical cannabis programs.

  • Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program
  • Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program

Both are designed to ensure medical cannabis is accessible for Hawaii’s patients, while making patient safety and public safety its ultimate priorities.

The Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program states, Hawaii law requires all qualified patients to be registered with the Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program before they begin to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. The registration process begins when:

  1. A license Physician or Advanced practice registered nurse certifies the health condition can benefit from medical cannabis
  2. Patient creates and registers with the DOH medmj.ehawaii.gov account
  3. DOH reviews, approves and issues a 329 Registration Card

DOH’s goal is to issue the patient’s 329 Registration Card in a timely manner so that patients can begin or continue to legally use medical cannabis.

DOH is required to provide law enforcement officials with limited access to the Medical Cannabis Registry Program’s database as a tool to safeguard the community against illegal cannabis use and/or illegal cannabis grow sites.

The Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program states, the Hawaii Department of Health’s Dispensary Licensing program monitor’s the quality of the cannabis products from seed to sale. This includes statewide oversight of the laboratories that test the safety and quality of the cannabis and manufactured cannabis products, and monitoring of the dispensaries who will grow, manufacture, and sell the products to qualified patients.

Hawaii Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Hawaiian commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:


My medical condition is not listed as one that would make me eligible for medical cannabis. Can additional medical conditions be added to the list?

In Hawaii, adding conditions requires an in-depth review of evidence-based documentation, and begins with thorough petitions prepared in accordance with section 11-160-7, Hawaii Administrative Rules.

To be added as a qualifying condition, recommendations will need to be approved by the Department.

Petition Process to Add New Conditions

Does the law require health insurers to cover medical cannabis?

No. At this time health insurers are not required by law to cover medical cannabis.

Can a landlord refuse to rent to someone or act against a tenant solely because the tenant is qualified to use medical cannabis?

Part IX of Chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) outlines the requirements for the medical use of cannabis and contains protections for medical cannabis patients and their caregivers in section 329-125.5, HRS.  You should contact a private attorney for legal advice regarding how these statutes may apply to you.

Can an employer decide not to hire someone or decide to fire, or otherwise penalize or threaten that person, solely because the person is qualified to use medical cannabis?

No. An employer, however, may prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during work hours or discipline an employee for being intoxicated while at work as well as certain categories of work or positions.

What are my options as a patient if I have a qualifying medical condition and believe that medical cannabis would be the most effective treatment for my symptoms but my physician will not certify me for the medical cannabis program?

DOH cannot require physicians or APRNs to recognize cannabis as an appropriate medical treatment in general or for any specific patient, and cannot refer you to a different medical provider; any information we receive regarding providers that have, or will, certify patients for medical cannabis is being treated with the utmost level of confidentiality.

Hawaii Cannabis License Types

Medical Marijuana Dispensary

License application procedure, verification, and fees are as follows. The department shall establish an open application period for each available license, the first of which shall be no later than 8:OO a.m., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time, on January 12, 2016, during which an application may be submitted. This submittal period shall be closed on January 29, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. The department shall publish notice of the open application period no less than thirty days prior to the start of the open application period.

A non-refundable application fee of $5,000 for each license application shall be submitted to the department by certified or cashier’s check. Within seven days of approval, a dispensary license fee of $75,000 for each license approved shall be submitted to the department by certified or cashier’s check or the department shall issue a license to the next qualified applicant.  

Applicants shall provide a minimum of the following information:

  1. Legal name and date of birth of individual applicant; 
  2. Last four digits of individual applicant’s social security number; I 
  3. Validation code from an eCrim report for the individual applicant generated by the Hawaii criminal justice data center no earlier than December 12, 2015, at 8:OO a.m., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time; 
  4. Street address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the individual applicant;
  5. A tax clearance certificate issued by the department of taxation dated not more than thirty days prior to the date of the application;
  6. Name of the applying entity and any other name under which the applying entity does business, if applicable; Street address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the applying entity; Date the applying entity was organized under the laws of Hawaii; 
  7. A certified copy of the organizing documents of the applying entity; A copy of the applying entity’s bylaws;
  8. Federal employer identification number of the applying entity; Hawaii tax identification number of applying entity; Department of commerce and consumer affairs business registration number and suffix of the applying entity; 
  9. Name(s) of all owners of the applying entity, in whole or in part, and their percentage of ownership; 
  10. Date when continuous legal residence in Hawaii began for each Hawaii legal resident that owns a percentage of the applying entity; 
  11. Total percentage of the applying entity that is owned by Hawaii legal residents; 
  12. Designation of the county for which the dispensary license applied for and proof that the required minimum financial resources of $1,200,000 are met; 
  13. Total dollar amount of financial resources under control of the applying entity in the form of bank statements or escrow accounts; 
  14. Date from when financial resources have been continuously controlled by the applying entity; and 
  15. Copies of the entity’s bank statements for the twelve months prior to the date of the application.

Laboratory and Testing

  • The department shall establish and enforce standards for laboratory-based testing of marijuana and manufactured marijuana products for content, contamination, and consistency.
  • The department may certify laboratories that can test marijuana and manufactured marijuana products prior to the sale of marijuana and manufactured marijuana products.

Q: Is there a local laboratory that can meet the requirements for testing marijuana before it is sold?

A: No laboratory has been certified yet to test marijuana or manufactured marijuana products in the State. The rules allow for a laboratory to enter the local market under a provisional certification, if it is already certified in another jurisdiction.

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