HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is allowing visitors who are qualified to receive medical marijuana elsewhere in the U.S. to register and buy it from dispensaries in the state.
The state Department of Health announced Tuesday that it is also rolling out an online registration system for medical marijuana, allowing qualified patients to quickly obtain an electronic registration card.
The new system allows out-of-state patients to register before arriving in Hawaii, so they can purchase from certified dispensaries once they are in the state, the department said.
"The introduction of Hawaii's electronic medical cannabis card is a major step in improving access to medical cannabis for qualified patients in Hawaii and out-of-state patients in the 37 other jurisdictions where medical cannabis is allowed," said Bruce Anderson, director of the state Department of Health.
The jurisdictions that allow medical marijuana include 32 other states, Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, Anderson said.
For a $49.50 application fee, out-of-state patients can apply for registration up to 60 days before visiting. The state requires applicants to submit an ID and their medical marijuana registration from their home state.
The registration card is valid for 60 days, and patients can apply twice in a calendar year. The state allows the purchase of up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of marijuana for each 15-day period.
"Dispensaries will also help educate visitors on state laws and regulations that govern the use of medical cannabis in Hawaii, such as restrictions on public use and transport," said Tami Whitney, of the department's Medical Cannabis Registry Program.
Dispensaries sold 1,569 pounds (711.7 kilograms) of medical marijuana for $12.6 million last year, according to department figures.