Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hawaii legislative update

Well, after seeing five bills pass the Hawaii Senate with flying colors, last Tuesday was quite a surprise as the House Health and Public Safety committees held a hearing for SB 1458, which would license compassion centers, producers and infused products manufacturers. The bill was totally altered, and turned into a five year pilot program for one compassion center on Maui. The bill in its current form is quite restrictive, and shuts out patients on the other islands for far too long.

In the Senate hearings testimony was overwhelmingly in support, but the opposition finally materialized, and they won this round 75-64. With only 8,000 patients state wide, the numbers will always be a challenge, but it shows the necessity of testifying. Every little bit will help. (I noticed the Democratic Party of Hawai'i submitted testimony in support.)

Regarding the other four bills that passed the Senate:

SB 113 which would have created a three year research program to study the positive effects of cannabis was not scheduled for a hearing and is dead. (It was referred to three committees.)

SB 58 which would have increased plants, dried ounces, patient-caregiver ratio and clarified the transportation issue also had been referred to three committees and was not scheduled.

SB 1460 which would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less needs to have a hearing scheduled by March 24

SB 175 which would transfer administration of the medical cannabis program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health needs to have a hearing scheduled by March 24

That's it for now...

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