Hawaii gov suggests easing medical cannabis access after adult use fails

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Hawaii’s governor is proposing that the state open up access to medical cannabis after the failure of an adult-use legalization bill.

The island state’s latest attempt to legalize recreational marijuana died earlier this month in the Hawaii House of Representatives.

Gov. Josh Green learned of the bill’s failure during a TV interview with a Hawaii News Now program.

Then he told the Honolulu-based Spotlight Now show of “a possible solution:” Changing the state’s medical marijuana rules to make cannabis available for any health condition, although a doctor-approved registration card still would be required.

“This would make (marijuana) very available … for those who choose it in their lives and still keep kids safe, which is everyone’s priority,” Green said.

According to Hawaii News Now, “The governor hopes his compromise can be done without legislative action, although if the Health Department has to change its rules, that process can still take many months.”

Green said he believes adult-use marijuana should be legal.

However, he did not commit to launching a new recreational cannabis legalization attempt next year.

Hawaii’s regulated medical marijuana program currently requires registered patients to have one of several qualifying medical conditions.

The program is approaching 32,000 patients, or 2.2% of the state population, according to the newly released 2024 MJBiz Factbook.

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