Multiple Hawaii mayors have proclaimed June 14 officially ‘Medical Cannabis Day,’ commemorating the 20th anniversary of the state becoming the first to pass medical cannabis reforms via the legislative process.
Mayor Kawakami of the County of Kauai, Mayor Kim of the County of Hawaii, Mayor Caldwell of the City and County of Honolulu, and Mayor Victorino of Maui County all signed proclamations recognizing this year’s holiday after Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) failed to issue a statewide proclamation, according to Cannabis Healthcare Hawaii.
Hawaii’s medical cannabis bill was signed by then-governor Ben Cayetano on June 14, 2000.
Maui County, Hawaii Mayor Michael Victorino made his announcement on June 13 at Maui Grown Therapies, the first licensed dispensary in Kahului. Maui Grown Therapies was also the first dispensary in the state to sell to a patient on August 8, 2017, Victorino said during the announcement. Medical cannabis dispensaries weren’t legalized in the state until 2015 and, previously, the state relied on caregivers to supply medicine to patients.
Victorino noted that there are some 6,000 medical cannabis patients in Maui County.
“This new, growing, industry supports patients’ choice for holistic, integrative, healthcare options and expands the high value, eco-friendly, agriculture, and well-paid career options for citizens of Maui County. … Medical cannabis day is an opportunity to thank and acknowledge the Hawaii state and Maui County leadership, physicians, RPRNS, and researchers, medical professionals, cultivators, dispensary professionals, patients, and caregivers.” – Mayor’s Proclamation, June 13, 2020
Victornio presented the proclamation to Dr. Gregory Park, Maui Grown Therapies co-founder and chief compliance officer.
Park, who has practiced medicine in the county for 40 years, said he has found medical cannabis to be effective at symptom management and improving patients’ quality of life.
“I’d like to thank the county of Maui for their support of our industry and to help us provide high quality agricultural and retail jobs and help us diversify versus tourist jobs,” Park said.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated from an earlier version that incorrectly stated that Maui’s was the first officially recognized ‘Medical Cannabis Day’ in the country. We regret the error.