Hawai‘i Unveils First Cashless Payment System for Medical Cannabis

Gov. David Ige and state Financial Institutions Commissioner Iris Ikeda announced a “banking solution” that allows Hawai‘i’s medical cannabis dispensaries to access financial services and use a cashless payment system.

The solution makes Hawai‘i the first in the nation to have a cashless dispensary system.

The state has secured the services of Colorado-based Safe Harbor Private Banking that will provide limited and temporary financial services for Hawai‘i’s cannabis dispensaries. CanPay, a debit payment mobile application, will process sales transactions at retail dispensaries. Hawaii’s eight dispensary license holders have agreed to implement cashless operations by October 1, 2017.Financial services are currently unavailable in Hawai‘i because cannabis remains a federally prohibited substance.

“This new cashless system enables the state to focus on patient, public and product safety while we allow commerce to take place. This solution makes sense. It makes dispensary finances transparent and it makes it easier and safer for dispensaries to serve their patients and pay their employees and vendors,” said Gov. Ige.

While determining a banking solution, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Division of Financial Institutions focused on safety—for patients, employees, dispensaries, as well as the wider community. The department sought a cashless solution to address concerns about increased crimes committed against cash-based operations.

“This solution for the dispensaries to conduct banking services in an entirely cashless method would directly address many concerns we have and problems encountered by the dispensaries,” said Iris Ikeda, Hawai‘i Financial Institutions Commissioner. “This will establish a safe environment for medical cannabis-using patients and businesses to operate. It is our hope that a Hawai‘i-based financial institution opens accounts in the future. For now, we are appreciative of the mainland credit union for stepping in,” added Ikeda.

Hawai‘i’s cashless system will allow cannabis dispensaries to use traditional financial services to legally conduct financial transactions. In addition, dispensaries will be capable of setting up direct deposit for employee payroll, collect and remit taxes, and make payments to vendors.

All transactions will be transparent, as purchases at retail dispensaries occur through the mobile application and other transactions would be recorded by the financial institution.

Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies and Aloha Green LLC, the state’s two operational dispensaries, have opened accounts with the mainland credit union and have begun using the mobile debit payment application. The remaining six dispensaries are now at different stages of development and varying stages of the approval process.

More information on the Medical Cannabis Registry Program and the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the banking solution can be found at https://cca.hawaii.gov/dfi/files/2017/09/MCD-FAQs.pdf.

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary License Application Now Available Online

The Hawaii State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Dispensary License application is now available online at mmjdisp.ehawaii.gov. Applications must be submitted online and will only be accepted during the application period of Jan. 12, 2016, 8  a.m., Hawaii Standard Time (HST)  to Jan. 29, 2016, 4:30 p.m. HST.

Medical Marijuana“Applicants should be careful to follow the online application instructions completely,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance. “The online process is straight forward and follows Chapter 329D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) and Chapter 11-850 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules.”

The online process allows applicants to save their entries and resume their application at any time, 24/7, and submit it at a later time. However, applicants must save their application every time they access it even if there are no revisions or new entries. An email confirmation with the application number will be sent to the email address provided upon successful submission. All information on dispensary license requirements is posted at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.

The $5,000 application fee, for each application submitted, in the form of a certified check or cashier’s check payable to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, must be delivered or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to: Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing, Room 337, 601 Kamokila Blvd., Kapolei, HI 96707. The application fee must be received by the department or postmarked by 4:30 p.m. HST, Jan. 29, 2016.

The medical marijuana dispensary law, Chapter 329D, HRS, allows DOH to award a total of eight licenses initially: three licenses for the City and County of Honolulu, two dispensary licenses each for the County of Hawaii and the County of Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauai. Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail-dispensing locations.

DOH expects to select and announce licensees by April 15, 2016. A dispensary licensed pursuant to Chapter 329D, HRS, may begin dispensing medical marijuana not sooner than July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department.

For more information about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.

 

Ask Governor Lingle to Sign Medical Marijuana Task Force Bill Into Law

Media Release

Both chambers of the state legislature have approved SB 1058, which would establish a task force to examine crucial issues surrounding Hawaii’s medical marijuana law. The bill is now sitting on Gov. Linda Lingle’s desk awaiting her signature.

Please send an e-mail to Gov. Lingle today asking her to sign this bill into law.

While Gov. Lingle may sign SB 1058 into law at any time, she has until June 30 to signal her intent to veto SB 1058; however, if she has taken no action on it by July 15, the bill will become law with or without her signature.

After you have e-mailed Gov. Lingle, please follow up with a call, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in support of SB 1058.

If SB 1058 becomes law, the task force will have 13 members, including a registered patient and two physicians. Once established, the taskforce would: (1) Examine current state statutes, state administrative rules, and all county policies and procedures relating to the medical marijuana program; (2) Examine all issues and obstacles that qualifying patients have encountered with the program; (3) Examine all issues and obstacles that state and county law enforcement agencies have encountered with the program; (4) Compare and contrast Hawaii’s medical marijuana program with other state programs; and (5) Address other issues and perform any other function necessary as the task force deems appropriate relating to the program.