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Court: Native American Church Not Excused From Cannabis Laws

A federal court has ruled that a church for Native Americans in Hawaii should not be excused from federal marijuana laws despite the group's claim that ingesting cannabis is part of their sacred sacrament.

The Native American Church of Hawaii had asked for relief from federal marijuana laws under the U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying they used cannabis during sweat lodge ceremonies to help people connect with their creator.


As A Big UN Drug Policy Summit Draws Near, Will Marijuana Activists Become Global Drug Reformers?

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and one of the most recognized speakers in drug-policy circles, doesn’t mince words when he gets up to talk at marijuana industry events. “Frankly,” he often says, “I am not interested in meeting most you.” The only people he wants to talk to, he tells his audiences, are those who are going to make a lot of money in the new marijuana industry in an ethical way and are interested in certain social issues that could make them ideal foot soldiers in the wider struggle against the global war on drugs.


Hawaii Lawmakers Ask How Much Marijuana Is Acceptable While Driving

With Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensaries set to open in July, state lawmakers are racing to set a limit for stoned drivers.

Rep. Cindy Evans introduced a resolution that looks at how much marijuana a driver can safely consume before getting behind the wheel of a car.

"Impaired driving is impaired driving and we have laws in the books for driving under the influence of alcohol, so why not under the influence of marijuana?" said Evans.

The resolution asks the Department of Health to study the issue and establish a threshold and testing protocol that would determine whether someone is safe enough to drive after using marijuana.


Hawaii's Largest Aquaponics Farm Looking to Grow Medical Marijuana

Mari’s Garden in Central Oahu, which is one of the largest aquaponics farms in the United States, could be adding a medical marijuana growing operation to its mix, according to public documents.

ERBA Wellness, headed by an owner of Mari’s Garden and its consultant, who have applied with the state Department of Health to become one of three medical marijuana dispensaries on Oahu, plan to grow their products at the Mililani farm, according to a recent presentation by the group at the Mililani/Waipio/Melemanu Neighborhood Board.


Hawaii Lawmakers Push to Regulate Medical Marijuana Testing

HONOLULU (AP) - Industry experts say there are a lot of chemicals that could contaminate Hawaii’s medical marijuana.

Dispensaries are set to open in Hawaii in July, and state lawmakers are pushing a broad bill to address many of the obstacles the industry is facing. One is how to regulate marijuana testing.

The proposed Hawaii law would set requirements for testing medical marijuana’s potency and would also test for contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria and pesticides, which industry experts say is necessary to ensure patient safety. Under state rules, dispensaries must send all marijuana products to a certified laboratory for testing.


Hawaii Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Bill to Legalize Hemp

Hawaii’s full House of Representatives has given unanimous approval to legislation that woud explicitly legalize the cultivation, production and distribution of hemp in the state. The measure – House Bill 2555 – now heads to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Under the proposed law, introduced by Representative Kaniela Ing (D-Kihei) with 34 cosponsors, those wanting to cultivate hemp will be legally authorized to do so, as long as they receive a license from the state’s Department of Argiculture.

“Farmers called for the legalization of industrial hemp, and I am ecstatic to help answer that call”, says Rep. Ing, who calls the measure “the most robust industrial hemp bill being considered this year,” saying it follows models in Kentucky and Colorado.


Marijuana sales may be tricky for Hawaii

With less than five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters.

Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15, but industry experts say they could be confronted with challenges unlike those in other states, such as navigating rules that ban inter-island transport and limit the number of growers — all of which could cause marijuana shortages. A lack of labs to test the crop presents another challenge for state lawmakers.


10 top-rated states for medical marijuana

While it's still controversial, medical marijuana is edging toward normality. Forty states (and the District of Columbia) now have some form of law on the books that allow the drug to be used for a variety of ailments, and sales are soaring— reaching $5.4 billion in 2015.

That doesn't mean it's widely available in all of those states, of course. Some, like Alabama and South Carolina, have extremely strict circumstances under which cannabidiol products can be prescribed, and still forbid the production and distribution of the drug. And even in states where it's easier to come by, there are differences in how it's handled.


Pakalolo’s Long History, Regulated Future In Hawaii

Despite Hawaii’s centuries-old appreciation for medicinal marijuana, dispensaries coming on line later this year are unlikely to make access and affordability better for patients.

Pakalolo is the Hawaiian word for cannabis and it literally means “numbing tobacco.” The chronicled use of cannabis in the Hawaiian Islands, appearing in the Hawaiian Language Newspaper Ka Nonanona, goes as far back as the year 1842 – though cannabis use probably goes back much further. Advertisements for medical cannabis continued in Hawaiian newspapers throughout the 19th century.


Hawaii bill seeks to allow growing marijuana outdoors

HONOLULU (AP) — Some Hawaii lawmakers and advocates say medical marijuana dispensary applicants could be at a disadvantage because health department rules don't allow greenhouses.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to allow medical marijuana business owners to grow plants in greenhouses, shade houses or outdoors in open air.

Right now, rules posted on the Hawaii Department of Health's website say that isn't allowed, and medical marijuana must be grown in an enclosed structure. Janice Okubo of the Hawaii Department of Health said the department doesn't plan on changing the rules unless there's a change in state law.


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