Hawaii: Patients fear losing access to medical cannabis amid push to restrict amateur grow operations

Hawaii News Now reports

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Since the day medical cannabis was legalized in Hawaii more than two decades ago, the program has centered around the rights of patients and caregivers to grow their own marijuana.

But now, state health officials want to create new rules that would drastically restrict the number of people who could use the same grow site.

For many, including a 78-year-old cancer survivor named Nan, that could mean losing access to their medication.

Nan, who asked that only her first name be used, is a medical cannabis cardholder. She visits the farm where her plants are grown every 10 days.

“It’s a feeling of healing,” said Nan. “That I’m going to get better.”

Breast cancer could have claimed her life in 2019. She says soon after her diagnosis, one of the things that helped the most was an oil made from medical cannabis.

In another greenhouse just a few steps away, Kevin is busy pruning plants.

“I’m usually out here two if not three days a week,” he said.

The registered caregiver, who also asked that HNN not use his last name, is on a mission to save his father’s life. Kevin said, “His initial diagnosis was stage 4 lung cancer.”

In addition to radiation, chemo and immunotherapies, his father has been taking an oil produced from plants on the farm.

“My dad, through the entire year of cancer treatment, slept every night 8 to 10 hours a night. And ate every day,” he said. “Most stage 4 cancer patients don’t get that kind of rest. We’re now on month 15.”

Both Kevin and Nan are members of a medical cannabis cooperative on Oahu’s North Shore.

The community grow site has been around since 2014 and serves more than 600 patients ― assisting with cultivation ― at what users say is a safe, secure environment to exercise their grow rights.

Read more at  https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2021/04/14/patients-fear-losing-access-medical-cannabis-amid-push-restrict-amateur-grow-operations/

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