HONOLULU, Hawaii - Hawaii is now allowing tourists to purchase medical marijuana legally.
Adults planning to travel can apply online for the medical marijuana card, also known as the 329 V-Card, 60 days before they arrive in Hawaii.
Once approved, the card will stay valid for 60 days from the start date requested.
“You must have a medical card, not a doctor’s recommendation letter or certification. With the application, it’s online, it’s very fast. It costs $49.50 that goes straight to the state and you must have a state ID or driver’s license that matches the state that you have your existing medical cannabis card from and also, you must have one of Hawaii’s qualifying conditions,” said Helen Cho, director of the Aloha Green Apothecary.
These qualifying health conditions include HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Once approved, travelers can purchase up to four ounces of marijuana for every 15 days of their stay at licensed dispensaries which offer a wide array of medical marijuana products, except for edibles which are not yet legalized in the state.
Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000 which makes it one of the earlier states to do so. However, it did take about 17 years to obtain dispensaries. Since then, it has only taken a short year and a half for the state to begin reciprocity.
“Honestly, I think it’s a non-issue because a lot of stigma comes from our relative stigma of what marijuana is, and if we were to learn to accept marijuana as a non-recreational drug but more of a health and medical benefit then I believe that we can understand more about how we can function better as a society," said Hawaii resident Calvin Bagaoisan.
While some people agree with the new law, others believe that the state is working backwards.
"I don’t know why they put the tourists first especially here in Hawaii. I think they should start with the residents first before they start legalizing or giving the cards to the tourists,” said Jan Robancho.
While Hawaii is now allowing travelers to purchase medical marijuana, it is important to remember that it is not a recreational use state. This means that people are not allowed to practice public consumption of cannabis.
If travelers are visiting multiple islands, they must purchase their medication on the island they are currently staying at.
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