A state that has a medical marijuana program but doesn’t allow medical marijuana dispensaries will never function properly. Patients need safe access to medical marijuana, and not every patient can grow it for themselves. Growing marijuana can cost a lot of money, and it takes a skill set that not everyone can obtain. That’s why medical marijuana dispensaries are so important. Hawaii’s State Auditor agrees. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
“Because the sale of marijuana is illegal under state law, there is no place within the state to legally obtain marijuana, which forces qualifying medical marijuana patients to either grow their own (MMJ) or seek out black market products,” the report reads. “For this overriding reason, we conclude that regulation of dispensaries is needed to protect the public from potential harm.”
The report goes on to say that without a system of regulated dispensaries, “patients’ health is jeopardized because a product’s strength, strain and lack of contaminants cannot be verified,” the report continues.
My home state of Oregon didn’t allow medical marijuana dispensaries for well over a decade after the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program was created. It caused a lot of headaches for law enforcement and patients because patients were forced to purchase marijuana on the black market. A bill was introduced last year that would have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii but it didn’t go anywhere. Hopefully the next legislative session in Hawaii is more favorable.