As a way for Hawai‘i to remain at the forefront in developing policies and regulations that ensure ongoing safe, legal access to medical cannabis for registered patients, the Hawai‘i Department of Health recently joined the newly formed Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) as a founding member.
CANNRA is a national organization whose membership is limited to cannabis regulators and representatives from government agencies. Membership is not open to cannabis industry participants or advocacy organizations.
CANNRA’s mission is to identify and share best practices to safeguard public health and safety and promote regulatory clarity for the industry. Membership in the organization gives the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis Control and Regulation (OMCCR) access to a national registry of other regulators, resources for cannabis policy development and staff training, and ability to participate in the development of model standards and best practices for cannabis regulation.
“It’s important to note that while half of the member states in this organization have legalized recreational or “adult-use” cannabis, the remainder, like Hawai‘i, are medical-use only. We will continue our focus on safe, legal access to medical cannabis,” said Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Deputy Director for Health Resources Administration who oversees OMCCR.
Sen. Rosalyn Baker said she was pleased Hawai‘i is one of the founding members of the Cannabis Regulators Association.
“This forum will help us stay abreast of best practices in cultivation and manufacturing, as well as possible advances in the medical use of cannabis,” Baker said.
Other founding members include the principal state regulators from Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.
“Hawai‘i has long been a leader on medical cannabis policy and regulation,” stated House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti. “It does not surprise me that Hawai‘i will continue to lead and collaborate with regulators across the nation to develop standards and practices that ensure patients can safely access medical cannabis.”