Frequently Asked Questions

Yes.

And it has been legal for a decade or so. Dispensaries are new, however. For 15+ years, you could either grow your own or have another person grow for you. However, the grower could not legally produce for many people, only a few.

Growing rights may be eliminated in 2018, and we need to lobby the government to protect that right. Individual growers can produce customizable varieties (strains) of marijuana. These are known as unique ‘cultivars’ in the world of horticulture. Dispensaries will no doubt make great products, but not customizable for each patient.

Yes.

A 329 card (i.e. a medical marijuana card) will normally protect you from marijuana related prosecution, assuming your registration is active, you show the card to an officer, and you follow all laws applicable to the program, such as keeping less than 3 oz of marijuana at any given time, or, if you are a grower, properly labeling all your plants.

3 oz is actually quite a lot: three large, tall Mason jars worth. For most patients, this is way more than they will actually use.

You must do two things.

1) Visit Dr. Cook, and be deemed appropriate by him, and:

2) Complete an online application with the state of Hawaii on their official registry website.

That’s it!

To schedule an appointment with us, Contact Us. To begin the online application process, Apply. You can actually start the registry application before seeing us, if you want. We also have a brief descriptive guide of the whole process that we recommend reading first before applying. For even more detail see the state info website for answers to detailed questions about application pitfalls.

The registry can be as fast as 1-2 weeks, and as slow as 4-6 weeks. Currently they are running a bit slow.

If you make mistakes on your application, such as a typo in your name or address, the wait time could end up being twice the above. (They must start the process over if they run into an error.)

Sorry, but we are not responsible for delays in wait time. We do look over applications for major errors, but we generally submit your application exactly as it was entered by you. If there is an error, there is little we can do to speed up the process.

The DOH is insistent that your card name EXACTLY match your identification card. Middle initials or surname identifiers like “Sr” or “Jr” must be an exact match.

Our fee is $190, which you would pay only if you are approved by Dr. Cook. We take cash and credit card only. We offer big discounts to veterans ($150) and to pre-existing patients who see Dr. Cook regularly.

There is an additional $38 which you will owe to the state of Hawaii when you are completing the online registry application at home.

Some patients who would qualify for a card say they would rather just continue to buy marijuana illegally. Besides the illegality problem, We recommend against this medically, for these reasons: 1) strain mis-labeling. Studies have shown that illegally distributed marijuana is labeled as one strain, but in reality it is another… this makes it difficult if not impossible to learn what chemo-type of marijuana is actually helping your condition. This is invaluable information to you. 2) Having a card gives you growing rights (up to 10 plants), which the cheapest way to acquire marijuana, by far.

Dr. Cook mainly approves cards for mental illness, since that’s his specialty. If you have cancer or chronic pain, he may also be able to certify you.

Post traumatic stress disorder may affect as much as 10% of the population. There is usually anxiety, trouble sleeping, irritability, moodiness, chronic stress, or trauma. Dr. Cook recognizes that most people who suffer from chronic stress disorders do not present to doctors, and are not often properly diagnosed.

Dr. Cook does not require prior records if you are complaining of chronic stress disorder. He doesn’t need to see medical scans/tests done elsewhere. If you do have a mental health history with another doctor, then by all means, bring that in- it may help Dr. Cook in the process. But it isn’t necessary since Dr. Cook is a mental health expert and he can do his own evaluation and diagnosis. If you were diagnosed elsewhere with chronic stress or PTSD, you can tell him about that.

If you are being seen for chronic pain or cancer or some other condition, it’s best to bring some records with you.

The dispensaries already have an array of products, including olive oil and coconut oil tinctures, raw herb (loose flower sold in small pop-top plastic containers), concentrates, and much, much more.

Dispensaries are not allowed to sell most vaporizer devices. We can loosely describe which products are available and which work well, but we cannot specifically aid you or recommend a product for you to buy. You will be on your own in buying such devices. They are readily available online, usually shipping out of California.

The legal dispensaries on O’ahu are easily identifiable on Weedmaps.com. They include Noa, Aloha Green, and Cure Oahu.

You can also grow your own, and you have been able to for the past 15+ years in Hawaii.

Currently, this question is being examined in the Hawaii State Legislature. Individual growers rights are subject to being banned. We need to protect growers rights for a very important reason: small individual growers are able to make customized medicine for individual people. By that I mean, they can grow the strain of marijuana that is perfect for a certain patient… and dispensaries likely will not do this.

We have a whole page dedicated to this question.

To summarize here, briefly: vaporizing raw flower is probably the healthiest, since smoking puts small amounts of carbon in your lungs. The evidence, however, found that cannabis smokers have lower cancer rates than non-smokers. It appears the anti-cancer protective properties of cannabis actually off-set the effects of tar.

We cannot, however, make specific recommendations to smoke or not to smoke. You are on your own as to how to use it. We can say what we think is unhealthy and healthy, but we cannot tell you, an individual patient to use x dose or y method.

Americans for Safe Access, an info site on medical marijuana, has a lot of info on methods of using medical marijuana.

No.

Dr. Cook cannot help any of his patients actually acquire medical marijuana. Sorry, but doctors are prohibited from this.

Currently, there is no legal way to obtain marijuana, even if you have a card. That is, until dispensaries open, the only legal way to obtain it is to either grow it yourself, or have a registered caregiver grow it for you. But the caregivers can only supply to a minimal number of patients.

And Dr. Cook cannot link up growers with patients.

Again, Dr. Cook cannot discuss with his patients how to acquire. When dispensaries open up, he still cannot discuss it.

He can discuss with you the various healthy medical-methods for using marijuana, give advice on using the most minimal amount possible, and the effects of various marijuana cultivars (strains) on mental health conditions. But he cannot discuss specific doses, amounts, and he cannot make individual “prescriptions” for a given patient, i.e., he cannot say “you definitely need this particular strain, this particular vaporizer, this particular dose…”

Yes.

Anyone can grow under the guidelines of the program. You can grow at your residence or at another designated residence. When you apply, there is an option to grow. Most people click “no.”

If you are planning to grow, be very well versed in the law. There are special laws that you will need to follow, like a maximum plant count (10).

http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanaregistry/

It depends on your condition and living situation.

If you’re looking to treat the insomnia of PTSD, a great many outdoor auto-flowering varieties will work just fine. However, learning to impeccably grow, flush, dry, and cure your medical marijuana, and to fine-tune your medicine, will be a process that may take years. For many patients, growing their own medicine is a deeply gratifying pursuit.

Other conditions, such as various cancers or inflammatory bowel diseases may require specific varieties of marijuana which are either hard to come by or difficult to grow.

Currently, we can not be of any help to a new Hawaii patient-grower who asks about obtaining seeds. If you choose to grow, you must begin heavily researching and reaching out to growing organizations for information.

No you cannot.

You can’t even take it inter-island. Your card is good on all islands, so you could technically visit the Big Island from O’ahu, and visit a dispensary on the Big Island. But you cannot bring any of that medical marijuana back to O’ahu. Also, you should not bring any Hawaii medical marijuana back to the mainland.

Your 329 card will expire 12 months after it is issued.

Be sure to renew it 2 months prior to the expiration date. The registry will send an email reminder, to the email address you originally gave them. The renewal process involves seeing Dr. Cook one more time and paying a renewal fee to his office, which is much less than his original fee.

You can update your address or email information at any time, by simply contacting the registry.

1 (808) 733-2177

 

For more info, visit the Department of Health’s website:       health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanaregistry/