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US: Hawaii challenges to regulate booming cannabis market

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The Hawaii Department of Health and law enforcement authorities are facing several challenges in keeping up with the expanding and ever-evolving cannabis market, which could result in resistance to the legalization of adult/recreational cannabis use. The Department of Health is trying to get some aspects of the industry under control, such as the proliferation of Delta-8 THC products, before moving forward with full legalization.

One of the great challenges the Hawaiian state is currently facing is the proliferation of edibles, especially candy products, that contain Delta-8 THC extracted from hemp, a compound that is currently not regulated by state law. This is causing concern to legislators, who feel that getting control of these aspects is a prerequisite for legalizing cannabis for adult/recreational use.

tai cheng da Aloha Green Holdings, the state's largest operator of medical cannabis dispensaries, stated at a hearing that it supports the regulation of Delta-8 THC, due to the unclear manufacturing, production and procurement process.

Cheng stated that "since Delta-8 products are untested products sold in service stations and hemp (product) stores, there may be long-term ill effects." He also said that the product itself (Delta-8) has its medicinal value, providing a minor psychotropic effect, while increasing the appetite of cancer patients.

The danger of Delta-8 for young people and children
Despite the stores claiming they only sell to adults, many products are packaged in a way that appeals to children, causing concern to House Health and Homelessness MP Della Belatti: “We are very concerned that all these products are dangerous for children. children. This is what House will focus on.”

Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii believes that the focus should be on regulation rather than criminalization. "It doesn't really make sense to criminalize this component of cannabis at this time and we should wait for more guidance from the federal government."

If the state is not able to control the unregulated entry of new products or medical cannabis, it will not be able to manage adult/recreational use either.

A cannabis growing farm on Oahu's North Shore is also raising concern for the Department of Health, as it has more than 10.000 plants grown by caregivers for more than 1.000 patients, compared to the 5.000 plants allowed in dispensaries. graduates.

Cannabis Control Health Department Chief Michelle Nakata said the only enforcement tool they have is revoking medical cannabis cards, which is something they don't want to do. However, it is feared that with so many plants in cultivation and so many people involved, medical cannabis could “leak” into the community.

the owner of Care Waialua, Jason Hanley, stated that the co-op is completely legal under the rules governing the cultivation of health care workers and that dispensaries and the state are targeting the co-op because it is providing good medicines at affordable prices – which constitutes a threat to the dispensary industry.

All of these issues can impact whether lawmakers approve adult/recreational cannabis use in Hawaii, as if the state is not able to control the unregulated entry of new products or medical cannabis, it will also be unable to manage adult/recreational use. recreational. Michelle Nakata said "the medical system has to be solid before we start looking at expansion."

The Hawaiian state senate is expected to be more supportive of adult/recreational cannabis legislation, but any new law needs the support of both houses and the Hawaiian governor himself.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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