Lawmakers in Hawaii are taking a closer look at the possibility of setting up a state-run dispensary and cultivation program.
The state will hold a public hearing in Hilo today to take input from advocates, patients and other stakeholders who want to have their voices heard. It is the first – and for now, the only – public hearing scheduled on the topic.
A task force created by legislative action this year is hosting the hearing, with a goal of providing recommendations to lawmakers regarding establishment of a medical marijuana dispensary program. The recommendations are expected to be considered in the 2015 legislative session.
Industry experts familiar with Hawaii’s current system say there are pros and cons to both approaches.
The big concern with the caregiver/collective model is that excess yield from cultivation is easily diverted to the black market, and there is not a consistent product available to patients.
A state-run program, however, would likely drive up prices. The program would likely also be complicated to implement and administer, as evidenced by other states that have launched dispensaries.