CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF PATIENT CHOICE
June 14, 2020 marks 20 years of patient choice in Hawaiʻi. Maui Grown Therapies celebrates this important milestone with Mayor Michael Victorino’s proclamation of Sunday as MEDICAL CANNABIS DAY IN MAUI COUNTY.
On June 14, 2000, then Governor Ben Cayetano signed the Hawaiʻi Medical Marijuana Act (Act 228) into law. Ours was the first state to legalize medical cannabis use legislatively; other states had done so by voter initiative. The new law removed state criminal penalties from the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients with a debilitating health condition, whose physicians affirm “the potential benefits of medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.” During the program’s first year, fewer than 1,000 patients would join the state’s first patient registry overseen by the Department of Public Safety.
Twenty years later, a dozen state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are open on four islands and nearly 30,000 patients have joined the state’s Medical Cannabis registry overseen by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health.
Within a brief span of two decades, cannabis has gone from illegal to essential, as declared by Governor David Ige during the state’s recent coronavirus shutdown.