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Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions Offers Guidance on Banking and Marijuana

The Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Iris Ikeda, presented considerations for banks and other financial institutions when dealing with marijuana related businesses at the Hawaii State Bar Association Convention on Oct. 23, 2015.

Click to view files

Click to view files

“The approval for licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries presents an upcoming challenge for banks,” said Commissioner Ikeda. “Before authorized dispensaries begin doing business, which could be as early as July 2016, banks and other financial institutions dealing with these businesses should take into account regulatory risks posed by the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act.”

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions (DFI), which regulates state-chartered and state-licensed financial institutions, is in communication with Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulators on the implementation of Hawaii’s law for medical marijuana.

Outreach to financial institutions with guidance on opening accounts for marijuana related businesses has been conducted by DFI. DFI also hosts a collection of guidance from various federal agencies called “Banking and Marijuana” on its website http://cca.hawaii.gov/dfi/.

Medical Marijuana Policy Advocates Announce Series of August Events on Oahu, Hawai‘i Island

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (co-founders of the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii) have announced three free, public events on medical marijuana policy in August.

Medical Marijuana Meetings

Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are requested by 8/20, walk ins welcome, space permitting. RSVP for any event to: office@acluhawaii.org or call (808) 522-5906. Neighbor Islands call toll free, 1-877-544-5906. All venues ADA-accessible, request special accommodation by 8/18.

  • Oahu, Saturday, 8/23/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” featuring Robert Jacob, Mayor of Sebastopol, CA and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a non-profit healing center and cannabis dispensary, and James Anthony, a former Oakland City prosecutor, now a full time attorney specialized in medical cannabis dispensary land use law. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Blaisdell Center Maui Room (second floor), 777 Ward Avenue.
  • Hilo, Sunday, 8/24/14: “Policy Perspectives on Medical Marijuana” repeats. 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Hilo YWCA, 145 Ululani Street.
  • Kona, Friday, 8/29/14: “Medical Marijuana TalkStory”. A free form conversation among patients, caregivers, doctors and advocates conducted by staff of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii. 2pm to 4pm at the Royal Kona Resort, in the Resolution Room. 75-5852 Ali‘i Drive.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary System Task Force Formed

The Public Policy Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa is convening the Medical Marijuana Dispensary System Task Force to develop recommendations for the establishment of a regulated statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana to provide safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified patients.

Medical Marijuana

The first meeting was held today, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM in Conference Room 325 of the State Capitol Building.

The task force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2015.

For more information, please contact:

Susan M. Chandler, Public Policy Center · 956-4237

Representative Della Au Belatti, House Health Committee Chair · 586-9425

Peter Whiticar, Department of Health · 733-8443

A Message to Prosecuting Attorney Jay Kimura

Mr. Jay Kimura, Prosecuting Attorney for Hawaii County has a budget of 9 million dollars to prosecute and convict Hawaii residents. He’s continuing to use public funds to prosecute cases which are defined as ‘adult personal use’, involving 24 or fewer plants and 24 or fewer ounces on private property.

It’s a shame. Not only that, it’s against the law. Mr. Kimura is saying he doesn’t have to obey The Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of Cannabis Ordinance.

What about the 35,000 voters who made sure it passed into law Mr. Kimura? They are the ones who pay your salary. We think you should show a little more respect.

Stop prosecuting ‘adult personal use’. Start obeying the law. Make Cannabis offenses your lowest priority.

From The Peaceful Sky Alliance


Institutions Serving Native Hawaiians Eligible for Medical Marijuana Research Grants


Media Release:

The U.S. Health & Human Services Department’s National Institutes of Health has six discretionary grant opportunities to support research that focuses on the development of a medication to treat disorders related to the use of cannabis. This funding opportunity uses the R01 award mechanism.

The award ceiling for this funding opportunity is $500,000.

This funding opportunity is open to state, county, city, township or special district governments; Native American tribal governments and organizations; independent school districts; public, state and private institutions of higher education; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities; public/Indian housing authorities; nonprofits; for-profits; small businesses; Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions; eligible agencies of the federal government; faith-based or community-based organizations; Hispanic-serving institutions; non-domestic entities; regional organizations; U.S. territories or possessions; and individuals.

A funding opportunity notice from the U.S. Health & Human Services Department’s National Institutes of Health states: “Applications may focus on the pharmacotherapy of one or various CRDs or clinical manifestations of the disorders. For example, research may focus on marijuana dependence or specifically on marijuana withdrawal. Clinical applications may include human laboratory studies to develop models for testing medications targeting single or multiple manifestations of the CRDs, and the interaction of cannabinoids with other medications, pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic studies of potentially therapeutic compounds.

Applications may also focus on the specific symptoms of the disorder such as withdrawal, craving or relapse, complications such as cognitive impairment, sleep disorders/disruption of normal rhythms or the clinical surrogates of their use such as depression and other mood disorders. Preclinical applications may include pharmacological studies on new chemical entities (NCEs) leading to the identification of candidates for advanced preclinical or phase I/II IND covered clinical evaluation as potential pharmacotherapies for CRDs.”

The funding opportunity number is RFA-DA-10-016 (CFDA 93.279). It was posted Sept. 24 with an application closing date of April 30, 2010.

  • Purpose. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) to support research studies that focus on the identification, and preclinical and clinical evaluation, of medications that can be safe and effective for the treatment of cannabis-use and -induced disorders, as well as their medical and psychiatric consequences. The studies can be preclinical or FDA-defined Phase I, Phase II or Phase III clinical trials.
  • Mechanism of Support. This FOA will utilize the R01 grant mechanism and runs in parallel with two FOAs of identical scientific scope, PA-07-365 and PA-07-366, that solicit applications under the R01 and R21 mechanisms, respectively.
  • Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards. It is anticipated that a total of 6 awards will be funded for a total of $3,000,000.
  • Budget and Project Period. The requested direct cost amount for individual awards must be less than $500,000 per year, with project periods for up to five years.

More Here: RFA-DA-09-001

Discrimination Against Pakalolo Patient Claimed on Celebrity Cruise Line During Big Island Visit

Here is my story

My name is Neal Plastik.

On Feb 28 2009 I left San Diego aboard the MV Mercury, a ship of the Celebrity Cruise Line, to go to Hawaii.

I went to the ship’s doctor and presented all of my proper paperwork showing that I use and posses medicinal Cannabis.

The doctor stated that I was the first person that had presented this paperwork in this manner to him. I also let the ship security know.

We sailed at sea for 5 days without any incident. I was able to medicate in a normal, albeit very discreet manner.

The first port we hit was Hilo.

I went off of the ship with my medicine in my bag and returned to security with my medicine. When the security guard opened my bag and saw my medical cannabis, he turned it over to his supervisor, and the supervisor  gave it back to me and said,” have a nice day”.

I went back onboard with no problem and we sailed over to the other end of Hilo.

I was then informed by the ship’s security officer  that I shouldn’t take my medical cannabis off the ship. I found this to be quite ludicrous. They informed me that I could not be taking my medical cannabis to shore.

I went to shore without my medicine and then talked to the Harbor Master.  I asked him what his policy was on medicinal cannabis. The Harbor Master informed me that as long as I was not taking duffelbags back onboard, and it was for my own personaluse, he had no problem with it.

We sailed to Maui and anchored in the port of La Hinna. I went to shore and rented a car, saw some sights in Maui, and then came back for dinner at 5:45PM.

As I was going through security, they asked that I remove all items from my pockets and I removed all metal items from my pockets.  He wanted me to remove all items from my pockets.

I did not remove my medicine, hoping not to cause more scandal. Security asked me what I had in my pocket. I told security that it was just my medicine and reluctantly removed it from my pocket and showed it to them.

Then the ship security called the head security officer to come down to the pier. The head ship security officer that arrived from the ship wanted me to surrender my medication to him.

I refused and was asked to talk to the port Harbor Master about this incident.  I told the head ship security officer that I had my medication and that I was a medical cannabis patient and he basically had no problem with this.

I went back aboard the ship with my medicine to have dinner. During dinner I was told  to meet with the staff.

My parents, my brother, and I all had a meeting with staff. Guest relations, the Head of Hotel, the First Officer and Security Officer were there.

They were telling me that I violated rules of the ship by transporting my medicine on and off of the ship. They also claimed that I was smoking pot on the pier, which was a total lie.

During the meeting I  looked at my watch because I needed to get my rental car returned and get back to the ship before they set sail.

So I decided to leave  and take care of the rental car return.

I went down the gang plank and when I stepped onto shore I was told by the staff that I will not be allowed to return back onboard and I am met by 6 police officers at the ship’s pier.

The First Captain says that I am not welcome aboard the ship. I argued with the police that I have medicine, that it is not contraband, that I am a patient and that thisis legal.

Maui then claims they do not want to recognize California’s medical marijuana card even though Maui does have a medical marijuana card for Hawaii.

I then thought I would take my belongings in the rental car.

Ten minutes later I get a phone call from my brother, telling me the ship’s staff has  extracted everything from my room and the safe, $2000 dollars in cash and medicine and even my brother’s belongings (even though he wasn’t been removed from the ship), were seized by the cruise ship staff and turned over to the Maui police.

I needed to go back to the pier to identify my property.

I went back willing to claim responsibility for my medicinal cannabis but they refused to let my brother take his money back.

I returned to the pier, walked up to the officers. And was told “You should have never come back. You are under arrest.”

I asked “What am I being arrested for?”

And he said “Dope.”

I was arrested and placed in the car on the hard plastic seat with handcuffs that got real tight on my wrists.

I asked them why I was being treated like a criminal and told them that I was only a patient.

I asked them what my bail would be and he said probably 100 dollars.

I was placed in a holding cell and after a couple of hours I was brought out to sign the bail paperwork and was told that bail was 10,400 dollars because I was being charged with 2 feloniesand a misdemeanor.

I passed out. I went unconscious. paramedics were summoned.

I did not have the bail money. I complained of pain to the paramedics, I requested my PRN Vicodin of 2 tablets and was only given one by the patrol officers who did not have a nursing license or MD license.

I woke up 2PM the next day when my parents posted bail. I had   a 3:15 PM  flight out of Maui.

I was not in possession of anything at the time of my arrest and I was charged for my medical cannabis.

Hawaii does acknowledge Hawaiian cannabis but they do not acknowledge the California paperwork.

Maybe one day we will be able to take a cruise and medicate like anyone else.

Neal Plastik