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Marijuana legislation rolling along in Hawaii

About one-third of the marijuana-related bills introduced in the state Legislature this year have successfully passed the halfway point before possibly becoming law.

Thursday marked the deadline for all bills to cross over into their nonoriginating chamber — that is, for Senate bills to be heard by the House and vice versa. Now, after 21 marijuana-related bills were introduced this year, nine have passed that milestone.

None of the surviving bills propose to change anything about marijuana’s current legality in Hawaii. Last year, the state partially decriminalized possession of marijuana, but none of the 2020 bills proposing to fully decriminalize it or recriminalize it have survived.

Instead, most of the remaining bills would make minor changes to the existing medical marijuana program, generally making medical cannabis potentially available to more people.

For example, one Senate bill allows the Department of Health to allow dispensaries to deliver cannabis products to patients, while another would allow medical marijuana products to be covered by health insurers, and another would prohibit employers from discriminating against medical marijuana patients. [Read more at West Hawaii Today]

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