Hawaii Gun Rights Guide for Medical Cannabis Patients
Table of Contents
The Medical Cannabis Registry Program or Act 228 was approved by Governor Benjamin Cayetano in 2000, making Hawaii the eighth state to legalize medicinal marijuana and the first state to approve medicinal marijuana through legislation instead of a ballot initiative.
The bill created a state-regulated medical cannabis program and established Hawaii’s regulated dispensary and patient registry system.
Over the years, the legislature has made several amendments and modifications to the program.
In 2015, the legislature amended the law through the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program Act, or Act 241, which allowed controlled cultivation and distribution of cannabis.
The Department of Health issues medical marijuana cards — also known as the 329 ID cards — to patients with qualifying conditions who are prescribed medical marijuana by a Hawaii doctor or advanced practice registered nurse who believes that the ”potential benefits of medical marijuana would probably outweigh the risks to the patient.”
The qualifying conditions in Hawaii are:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV positive)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Crohn’s disease
In order to protect the neighborhood from illegal cannabis usage and/or illegal cannabis grow operations, HDOH is required by law to grant law enforcement officers limited access to the database of the Medical Cannabis Registry Program.
Hawaii’s law permits a patient with a registration identity card and their caregiver to grow 10 plants and possess four ounces of processed marijuana.
It is illegal to use cannabis for medical purposes if doing so would put someone else’s health or well-being at risk.
It is also illegal to consume cannabis for medical purposes while traveling in a moving vehicle, on a bus, at work, at a school, or in any other public area.
This does not prevent caregivers and patients from carrying cannabis in sealed containers that are not readily accessible to the general population.
Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in Hawaii?
Among the US states that permit the use of medical marijuana, only Hawaii mandates the registration of all firearms.
In November 2017, Hawaii medicinal patients started getting letters requesting they surrender any firearms they may have, since consuming marijuana while owning a gun would be against federal law.
The letters give medical patients a 30-day window in which to surrender their firearms.
And since the police may cross-reference both medical marijuana and firearm registration lists, there is the worry that they may track down gun owners who are also patients.
The letters do not specify what happens if firearms are not willingly turned in. This raised crucial constitutional issues relating to the use of medication, the possession of firearms, and privacy.
In December 2017, in response to complaints from the community, the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) stopped ordering medicinal marijuana patients to surrender their firearms.
However the department clarified that any person included on the state’s roster of medicinal marijuana patients will continue to be denied a weapons permit.
The state of Hawaii appears to have adopted a policy that lets patients who use medicinal marijuana keep whatever weapons they currently own but forbids the issuance of new permits to patients who want to acquire more firearms.
Therefore, it is best to obtain your firearms first, and then your medical card.
Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in Hawaii?
To acquire a handgun from a private individual, you must have a permit to purchase, submit to a background check, and register your guns.
All weapons and ammunition must be registered with the county’s head of police in the owner’s place of employment, residence, or sojourn (temporary place of lodging).
All firearms and ammunition must be kept in the owner’s place of business, residence, or sojourn.
However, it is legal to transport them in an enclosed container or another appropriate container from the store where they were purchased to the buyer’s home, place of business, or sojourn; or when moving; or between these locations and a place of repair, police station, licensed dealer’s establishment, firearms show, or exhibit.
Hawaii allows open carry and concealed carry of handguns on the person with a Hawaii license to carry, which is only valid in the county of issue.
These areas are off-limits even if you have a permit to carry a gun:
- State/National parks, State/National forests, and Wildlife Management areas
- Secured areas of airports and airplanes
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation
Guns are therefore only permitted in dispensaries with a license, but keep in mind that Hawaii has tight regulations against holding a medical marijuana card and a gun license at the same time, so this might be a serious risk.
Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in Hawaii?
Yes, you can own firearms and use CBD at the same time in Hawaii, provided that you comply with both CBD federal regulations and Hawaii state gun laws.
Get Your Hawaii Medical Marijuana Card
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