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Medical Cannabis Day 2020 Proclamations

Medical Cannabis Day is June 14th in Hawaii.

Our Medical Cannabis Day champion is Dr. Clifton Otto. His work over the last two years to achieve recognition for patients with debilitating conditions who are licensed to use Cannabis has been exemplary to say the least. Dr. Otto spends his own money and a substantial amount of his time to raise awareness for patients suffering and passed.

Following Dr. Otto’s lead in submitting a proclamation to Gov. Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell, we submitted a nearly identical proclamation proposal to Mayor of Hawaii County, Harry Kim and Managing Director, Wil Okabe.

Read the proclamation sent to Mayor Kim:

Read the proclamation sent to Mayor Caldwell:
MCDay-Proclamation Proposal-Caldwell-03Jun20

Response from Gov. Ige’s office May 29th, 2019:
Aloha and thank you for contacting the Office of Governor David Ige to request a commemorative message from the governor. Unfortunately, our office will not be able to accommodate your request for Medical Cannabis Day at this time. We hope to be able to assist you in the future.

Everyone has a role to play. Whether it’s simple acceptance of medical Cannabis for your community suffering from Cannabis-treatable symptoms or your work as a patient advocate there are many many roles and we celebrate them all.

To celebrate Medical Cannabis Day in Hawaii your Hawaii Patients Union will hold a virtual event online. This event will be live with special guests including Dr. Otto and will start at 10am on Sunday, June 14th 2020. We hope you will attend virtually.

View Medical Cannabis Day Virtual Event Details.


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Event Details Hawaii Medical Cannabis Day 2020

Medical Cannabis Day in Hawaii

Let’s join together in gratitude for the many accomplishments that have lead to more patients receiving Cannabis medicine. We want to hear your stories with Cannabis medicine. We want to hear medical and industry professionals stories from the front lines. Essential and critical work to help ensure patients can access medicine in our home and dispensary markets. Join us, hele kakou!

  • 10:00am Introduction to Medical Cannabis Day by Clifton Otto MD
  • 10:15am Senator Russell Ruderman
  • 10:30am Hawaiian Ethos
  • 10:45am Big Island Grown
  • 11:00am Hawaii Hemp Farmer’s Association
  • 11:15am Cannabis Nurse Wendy Gibson
  • 11:30am Local Cannabis Thought Leaders, Roger Christie and Mike Ruggles
  • 11:45am Local Growers and Breeders
  • Continued discussion till noonISH Special Guests and Open sharing of gratitude and patient stories from the greatest Cannabis community in the world.

Medical Cannabis Day in Hawaii will be online this year.
Hele mai kakou!

Sunday June 14th 10:00am

Meeting ID: 720 2999 6058
Password: akamai

This celebration will be a chance for everyone to come together online, share stories and hang out with friends, advocates, medical and industry professionals, home growers and patients from all islands. If you’ve got something special you’d like to share, please let us know so we can schedule time for you.

Last year we got together at the Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo. This year we’re 100% online.

Photo of Mayor's Proclamation of Medical Cannabis Day. Signed by Mayor Harry Kim.
Medical Cannabis Day Proclamation from the Honorable Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim
Medical Cannabis Day 2020 Proclamation Kauai
Medical Cannabis Day Proclamation from the Honorable Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami


Medical Cannabis Day 2020 Proclamation
Medical Cannabis Day Proclamation from the Honorable Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell


Note: We didn’t receive the proclamation from Maui in time for publishing. We will add it if possible.

Conversation Starter

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Governor Ige Stops New Patients from Becoming Certified by Doctors

Hundreds of potential patients across Hawai‘i are asking how they can become certified to purchase medicinal marijuana while the state rests under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic. The answer is — they can’t.

On March 23, 2020, Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige issued Executive Order 20-01, which suspended part of the state’s controlled substance law so doctors could issue prescriptions efficiently and without violating the mandatory, statewide stay-at-home order in effect until April 30. Violation of that order is punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

As a result of the proclamation, doctors in Hawai‘i are presently allowed to prescribe narcotics — classified as Schedule-2, Schedule-3, Schedule-4 and Schedule-5 — by way of a telemedicine appointment, even if the physicians have never met or examined the patient in person.

Drugs that meet the criteria for telehealth prescription include substances like oxycontin and valium. But medicinal cannabis — still considered by the federal government and the state of Hawai‘i as a Schedule-1 narcotic, alongside substances like heroin and LSD — isn’t part of the exemption.

“You can sense the urgency for some people,” said Dr. Jim Berg, who hasn’t certified a patient for medicinal cannabis consumption since early March. “When it’s your pain, it always hurts a lot more. Imagine getting migraines or having chronic injuries or arthritis. All you want to do is access (your medicine) legally and get on with your life.”

But, as of Monday, new patients can’t. When they’ll be able allowed to pursue all legal remedies for their ailments, including medicinal cannabis, remains an open question. That time won’t arrive before April 30 and with every passing day, the number of people impacted by the cannabis exclusion in the governor’s Executive Order grows.

Berg said Sunday he has 77 patients currently in the queue for a medical marijuana card. He’s one of several doctors allowed to certify on the Big Island and said the figure representing his patients alone will top 100 in the coming weeks.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) has done a “great job,” administering the program to this point up to this point, always conducting business with “kindness and respect,” Berg said. But he believes the exclusion Ige made March 23 will prove to be a mistake.

“(The medicinal use of cannabis) is legal in the state and the governor is responsible for allowing patients access to the medicine — to gain access without prejudice,” Berg said. “That’s the point of the law.”


Yet, it appears DOH won’t budge on the issue. Berg said he’s appealed to the department on two separate occasions to review the policy.

“DOH officially said they’re not going to allow it,” Berg continued.

He added that he sent emails directly to Gov. Ige and Lieutenant Gov. Josh Green on Thursday, April 2, imploring them to reexamine the issue but had not heard back from either man as of Sunday.

DOH and the Office of the Governor had not responded to email inquiries from Big Island Now about the issue, also as of Sunday afternoon.

Ige vaguely addressed at a press conference Friday a question about why medicinal marijuana wasn’t included in the prescription telehealth exemptions, which were part of his Executive Order that suspended portions of state narcotics law.

“We will look at all the impacts of the actions taken and make adjustments to emerging proclamations as necessary,” the governor said. “Our focus was ensuring we have the healthcare professionals here to provide service. We believe telehealth is an important asset … to extend (medical) reach into rural communities.”

Under the Obama Administration in 2013, the United States enacted the Cole Memorandum, which developed guidelines for how the federal government should interact with states on the issues of medicinal cannabis, as some states had legalized the plant for that use while it remained illegal at the federal level.

More or less, the Cole Memo “allows states to do what they needed to do with medicinal and recreational cannabis laws without fear of the federal government,” Berg said.

He added that the memo would apply to states extending telehealth certification options to patients dealing with chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and epilepsy, along with 12 other specific conditions approved for medicinal marijuana certification in Hawai‘i.

To qualify, conditions must be chronic, impact normal functional abilities of everyday life and cause some level of despair over time if not addressed. Severe pain would be Hawai‘i‘s most common condition, said Berg, adding that his average patient was in the neighborhood of 60-years-old the last time he surveyed them.

“If you’re 60 with a debilitating condition, that means you shouldn’t go into a doctor’s office at all because you’re high risk for COVID-19,” Berg said.

Patients, in this situation, could switch to aspirin, but it may not be enough to calm their pain and side effects like bleeding ulcers affect thousands annually due to aspirin use. Other drugs, like opioids, could be prescribed via telehealth, but many patients don’t easily tolerate chemical agents in those drugs, which have also proven to be highly addictive.

“I just hope (Gov. Ige) can be compassionate,” Berg said.

Special thanks to Max Dibble for writing and Big Island Now for publishing this story. Read the full story at

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2020 Hawaii Federal Exemption Bill

Stay Informed Know Your Legal Rights

We’re starting the year with some letter writing. This one is about federal exemption from prosecution for all licensed Cannabis patients.

Dr, Clifton Otto of Cannabis Healthcare Hawaii has drafted for your consideration a bill that would exempt Hawaii licensed Cannabis patients from federal prosecution. We followed up on this effort with a letter to Gov. Ige. Everyone will have an opportunity to sign the letter at the annual meeting, Jan 3rd, 4:30pm at Sweet Cane Cafe.

For the latest House and Senate versions of the bill please visit Dr. Otto’s website:

Testimony in response to introduction of SB2462


Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health
Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Chair
Senator Stanley Chang, Vice Chair

Friday, January 31, 2020; 9:30 AM

State Capitol, Conference Room 229

On Behalf of Patients Who Rely on Medical Cannabis and Members of the Hawaii Patients Union We Are Calling For Strong Support Of Senate Bill 2462

Aloha Chair Baker, Vice Chair Chang and members of the committee. Thank you for accepting our testimony in support of Senate Bill 2462. 

Confusion in the law is harming patients. Confusing statements by the Governor such as, “medical cannabis remains illegal under federal law” are preventing patients from applying. This twisting of facts denies licensed patients “a well regulated” medical Cannabis program. Law abiding patients are refusing to seek help or opioid alternatives. Harm to certain patient populations is increasing.

Our members share many fears about federal prosecution including; 

  • Fear of applying for or losing a job that requires a drug screening, 
  • Fear of losing federal housing and food assistance, 
  • Fear of using health insurance for a minor hospital visit, 
  • Usurpation of privacy rights citing failures in following HIPAA law
  • Moms must deal with the anxiety of a routine traffic stop ending with the loss of their child to CPS/CWS. 
  • Fear of traveling between counties/interisland, through national parks, airports, harbors, military installations and other federally-controlled roads and waterways. 
  • Hunters fear losing their rights to own guns for hunting. 

It is our hope that you will support patients who rely on Cannabis for life and health. Thank you in advance of your demonstrated support of SB2462. 

With Aloha

Hawaii State Department of Health’s response to SB2462

Hawaii State Department of Health's response to SB2462

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Intro to Hawaiian Ethos

Intro to Hawaiian Ethos


Hawaiian Ethos Medical Advisor, Stacey Marie Kerr, MD, will be available to patients next week at three events open to the public. She’ll be sharing what Hawaiian Ethos is up to with Talk Medicine™ and Strain Hui™, tips on how to use cannabis as medicine, and answering any questions you may have.


This event has passed. Mahalo for everyone’s support of the Hawaii Patient Union.

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Aloha Veterans Day

Hawaii Patients Union, llc

Mahalo a Nui Loa to all Hawaii Veterans for your contributions to society, business and our greater good. We appreciate your services and sacrifices to help keep and protect our freedoms.

We’d also like to thank the thousands of Veterans Groups around the world that support Veterans who benefit from Cannabis medicine.

Today is a Day of Action for the Hawaii Patients Union. We are joining efforts to create a Cannabis legalization bill to end the nonsense of prohibition. Sensible adult legalization coupled with strong patient protections moving forward is our primary goal in the union.

You’re invited to add your ideas, comments, feedback and anything else that will promote the idea of sensible Cannabis legislation in the State of Hawaii.

Visit the Group homepage on Facebook and request access:

Skip the Facebook group and view the doc as it’s being updated:

To review, edit and add specific language for patient protections visit this doc:

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October Meeting Gratitude

October Hawaii Patients Union Meeting

Special Mahalos to our presenters, Roger Christie, Eric “Drake” Weinert and Jeff Pollock for great information for patients.

Lots of information exchanged. Roger Christie opened the meeting up, hearts first and provided insights into what economic freedom could mean for Hawaii. A lingering thought… 1.6 billion dollars worth of Cannabis eradicated in the nineties by our local, state and federal governments. Roger has been a leader in this area for decades and learning how Cannabis played a role in our island’s history was mind-blowing. A video of Roger’s presentation will be appearing on his THC Ministries website post-editing.

Eric Weinert shined the light on Korean Natural Farming (KNF) for Cannabis. From fermented plant juices to Lacto Bacillus Recipes and other fungus among us. Really great primer on the need and opportunity to farm Cannabis with KNF techniques. Buy his book of KNF recipes. Really informative for patients or folks growing for patients who rely on Cannabis medicine. Contact Drake to learn how you can help save agricultural by moving away from petroleum based, synthetic chemicals for food and medicine.

A few compliance questions came up creating a perfect segue into Jeff Pollacks 10 minute presentation on legal insurance. His business for the last 12 years has been helping people connect with affordable legal services through Legal Shield. We learned the importance of having an attorney you can call, on the spot when a compliance check occurs. Or for any charge made against you. It’s not enough to win in court, the goal every patient should focus on is “staying out of court.” Legal services from a reputable law firm costs less than a cup of coffee using Legal Shield.

A general theme emerged among all presenters. Each mentioned natural law in the context of our natural rights to plant-based medicines.

For the organization we raised $61.00 in donations. Mahalo a nui loa for all you beautiful, sharing, giving people. We love you!

October Agenda (Meeting pau – Next Meeting Nov. 2nd)

Hawaii Innovation Center at Hilo Directions
117 Keawe Street, Hilo, Hi 96720


Free to Members

Suggested donation for non-members, $5-$10 (no one is turned away)

Join us! Become a member or just come spend a couple hours with us on the next Aloha First Friday.

When you RSVP it helps us plan better meetings.

Subscribe to get semi-regular emails as new emerges that affects your rights and access to Cannabis medicine in Hawaii.

Subscribe to Hawaii Patients Union updates

Sharing is Caring!

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VHA Policy Directive 1315 An Open Letter to Hawaii State Governor David Y. Ige

Aloha Governor Ige,

The Hawaii Patients Union are informing patient members of a new policy directive issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration that affects healthcare options for U.S. Veterans. Major changes in VHA DIRECTIVE 1315 include the addition of specific policies to support the Veteran-provider relationship when discussing the use of marijuana and its impact on health including Veteran-specific treatment plans.

VHA Policy Directive 1315 Hawaii Veterans

The purpose of the VA directive is to provide policy regarding access to VHA clinical programs for Veterans participating in a State-approved marijuana program. The new VHA policy encourages VA doctors and pharmacists to discuss with the Veteran marijuana use, due to its clinical relevance to patient care, and discuss marijuana use with any Veterans requesting information about marijuana.

The new policy directs VHA providers and/or pharmacists to discuss with patients how their use of State-approved medical marijuana to treat medical or psychiatric symptoms or conditions may relate to the Veterans participation in other clinical activities. The new policy directive includes specific responsibilities for VISN and medical facility directors to raise awareness among Veterans for Cannabis treatments and to document such efforts in patients health records. Specifically, the Veterans Administration and Veterans must not be denied VHA services solely because they are participating in State-approved marijuana programs.

The Hawaii Patients Union are requesting that the State of Hawaii share and forward this information as required in section 4 of VHA directive 1315. We are grateful for the State of Hawaii’s respect and care for our Veterans.

Copies of the letter linked below have been emailed to Hawaii State Governor David Y. Ige and all Hawaii State Legislators. Please share with your networks.




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Hawaii County Local Grown Certification Program

Confidential Educational Material Draft The purpose of this document is to help protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the County of Hawaii by adopting a local grown certification program in conformance with Hawaii State laws and the Hawaii State Department of Health rules and regulations. Read the current draft working […]
To access this content, you must purchase One Year Membership, or Please log in if you are a member.
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Veterans Parade in Hilo

2017 Veterans Parade in Hilo Hawaii "Celebrate Service"

For Immediate Release

November 1st, 2017

Hawaii Patients Union Marches With Veterans to “Celebrate Service”

Hilo, Hawai’i – The Hawai‘i Island Community is preparing to once again honor our Military Veterans on Saturday, November 4th, 2017, at the 10th Annual Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade. The parade’s theme, “Celebrate Service”, focuses on the increased involvement of veterans and the community to serve those in need.

The Hawaii Patients Union will participate in support of Veterans and their families rights to legal, safe, affordable Cannabis medicines. One of the hundreds of ways we can all join together to support our Veterans the Hawaii Patients Union will be giving thanks for everything our local and statewide Veterans organizations and their Veteran members have done in service to our country.

“We celebrate the unending gifts our Veterans have provided. We will do everything to ensure this important part of our community is recognized and honored for their service to our country. Our policy for all classes and events has and continues to be free admission for all Veterans.” -Brent Norris, Volunteer, Hawaii Patients Union

Since 2014 the Hawaii Cannabis Organization has supported all patients rights to legal, safe and affordable Cannabis medicine.

About the Hawaii Veterans Parade
Held in downtown Hilo, the parade has grown into one of Hawaii’s largest Veterans Day parades. This event can only be held with the generous financial and volunteer support of local businesses and individuals. Our committee members are all volunteers who give their time and effort to support and organize the Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade because of its importance in recognizing our Hawaii Island veterans and their families and working with the community to help much more. For more information on the Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade, go to If you have questions, please email us at

About the Hawaii Cannabis Organization
A program of Green Collar Technologies 501c(3) the Hawaii Cannabis Organization formed to raise awareness for patient and caregiver rights in Hawaii. Veterans can learn more about Hawaii Cannabis classes and events including the Hawaii Cannabis Open Expo on Dec. 17th by visiting

About the Hawaii Patients Union
The Hawaii Patients Union brings people together to learn and benefit from services provided by Cannabis-friendly businesses in Hawaii. We are a unified, diverse, patient run organization for the benefit of licensed Hawaii Cannabis patients.