Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a resident of Hawaiʻi to register as a patient?

No. However, the medical marijuana registration program was designed to service qualifying individuals that reside in the state of Hawai‘i. All protections afforded under part IX, chapter 329, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes are only applicable in areas that fall within Hawaiʻi state jurisdiction. Additionally, there is an Out of State Patient Program for patients who have a state-issued cannabis card from another state. 

Can a minor register as a patient and receive medical cannabis in Hawaiʻi?

Yes, a minor may become a registered patient if he/she has a qualifying medical condition. A parent, guardian, or legal custodian must be designated as the caregiver since minors are not allowed to purchase medical cannabis in a dispensary themselves. For more information, click here.

How much medical cannabis can I purchase and/or possess?

A patient and registered caregiver are allowed to possess a combined total of four ounces of dried flower or extract equivalent at any given time. Patients/caregivers are allowed to purchase no more than a combined four ounces every fifteen days, regardless of which dispensary it is purchased from. Hawaiian Ethos staff is required to check how much a patient has purchased in the last fifteen days and will not be able to sell over the four-ounce limit.

Where am I allowed to medicate?

Patients are allowed to medicate at home or in other private areas. According to state law, patients are not allowed to use cannabis:

  • In a school bus, public bus, or any moving vehicle;

  • In the workplace of one's employment;

  • On any school grounds;

  • On the premises of a dispensary;

  • At any public park, public beach, public recreation center, recreation or youth center; or

  • At any other place open to the public.

Although patients are not allowed to medicate in public places, they are allowed to transport cannabis through public spaces provided that it remains in a sealed container and is not visible to the public. Also, please be aware that the same rules that apply to smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes apply to cannabis. Smoking and vaporizing are not permitted in the following places:

  • Work and educational settings; 

  • Restaurants and retail settings;

  • Hotels and multi-unit housing common areas;

  • Care and rehabilitation facilities including prisons;

  • Indoor and outdoor recreational settings; or

  • Transportation related areas.

For more information about Hawaiʻi laws regarding smoking and vaporizing, please click here.

Can I transport medical cannabis between islands?

Patients and caregivers are not allowed to transport medical cannabis between islands. If you are traveling interisland and need to obtain medical cannabis, be sure to bring your 329 Registration Card and government-issued ID with you so that you may purchase at a licensed dispensary on your destination island. If you are traveling to an island without a licensed dispensary, the only legal way to obtain medicine is for you or your registered caregiver to grow it on-island.

Is medical cannabis safe to use?

As with all medicines, there are potential risks and benefits. Medical cannabis is generally considered a safe medicine in that side effects are low to moderate (tolerable) for patients who dose appropriately. Consult with your physician to discuss the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis therapy for your particular condition.

Who is allowed to enter a dispensary?

Only patients or their registered caregivers are allowed in the dispensary, including the check-in room. If you bring someone with you who is not registered as a patient or caregiver, they must wait for you outside. Please plan ahead and do not bring children, as they cannot be left unattended in the parking lot.

Is medical cannabis taxed?

Medical cannabis is subject to Hawai'i’s general excise tax. There is no additional “medical marijuana” tax in Hawai'i.

How do I register as a patient?

Please visit the “Registering as a Medical Cannabis Patient” info page by clicking here.

Is medical cannabis legal?

If you are a registered and in compliance with the state’s Medical Marijuana Registry Program, then it is legal in the state of Hawai'i. Cannabis, medical or not, remains federally illegal. For more information, please visit the “Know the Law” info page by clicking here.

Is there any difference between “cannabis” and “marijuana?”

“Medical cannabis” and “medical marijuana” refer to the same thing. While the state of Hawaii has chosen the term “medical marijuana,” Hawaiian Ethos refers to the same substance as “medical cannabis” because “cannabis” is a scientifically accepted term, whereas “marijuana” is not.

Is my patient information confidential?

Yes. Medical information that you share with the Department of Health and/or Hawaiian Ethos is private and protected under HIPAA. We only share information with your permission, or as required by law. For example: Hawaiian Ethos is required to inform the Department of Health on the amount of medical cannabis someone purchases in order to ensure that no patient purchases over four ounces of flower (or extract equivalent) at a time. Hawaiian Ethos does not disclose to the Department of Health any personal information you share while consulting with our staff or your doctor without your permission.

Who can find out that I am a registered patient?

The medical marijuana registry is not open to the public. Only the following individuals may access the database and find out whether or not you are a registered patient:

  • Employees or agents of the Department of Health as necessary to do their jobs

  • Authorized dispensary staff

  • Authorized state or local law enforcement. Note: Not all law enforcement officers have access to the registry database. Law enforcement is only allowed to search the database for criminal purposes (to confirm whether or not someone is in legal possession of medical marijuana). They are not allowed to search for the database for child custody disputes, divorce hearings, employment background checks, civil torte claims, civil litigation, or any other non-criminal law enforcement purpose.

  • An individual or entity pursuant to an order or subpoena from a court or agency of competent jurisdiction;

  • A person or entity with the written permission of the qualifying patient or, if the qualifying patient is a minor, of the qualifying patient's parent, guardian, or person having legal custody.