Maui Wowie: Arizona MMJ Patients Are Going Hawaiian

AZ MMJ patients no longer have to suffer cannabis deprivation while in Hawaii.
AZ MMJ patients no longer have to suffer cannabis deprivation while in Hawaii.

Mainlanders have always been attracted to the clear blue waters and lush green landscape of our 50th state. It’s one of the world’s ultimate tourist destinations, and a complete list of all the reasons why that is would be longer than the lines at the shave ice stands on Oahu.

Well, you can add one more reason to the list. And it’s a reason that Arizona MMJ cardholders are starting to become more and more aware of.

Hawaii has been a medical marijuana state since 2000. In fact, the state was the first where lawmakers approved historic decriminalization, not voters. When then-Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano signed the bill, the state’s aim was to bring the state closer to its goal of being the go-to health care destination for the world. What followed was 17 long, hard years with no dispensaries whatsoever. Qualified medical cannabis users were expected to grow their own, a process that tends to exclude those who can’t afford the right equipment needed to grow quality weed. But in recent years, dispensaries have begun to pop up, and Hawaii’s aspirations of being the medical marijuana paradise of the Pacific are becoming a reality.

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Hawaii has now begun providing qualified visitors the ability to register for what the state calls the 329-OSP card. The initials stand for “Out-of-State Patient,” and thanks to a quick and surprisingly easy process that can be done online, medical cannabis patients from outside of Hawaii can head to the Aloha State and legally light up a bowl of pakalolo. And where do the majority of these OSP’s hail from? You guessed it: Arizona.

Why Arizona? There are a number of theories, the most obvious one being that we’re the westernmost medical state in the union. Also, Arizona may have more of a medical mindset than you’d find in other states that have approved medical use, most likely due to the fact that our state’s relatively higher number of elderly residents are looking for relief more than they are recreation.

The keyword here is “qualified.” Applicants not only need to present a copy of their own state’s MMJ card, but they must also qualify for the 329-OSP on a separate level. Those qualifying conditions include, but are not limited to, epilepsy, PTSD, and AIDS. Hawaii also recognizes the one condition that kicks the door wide open for most of the world’s population: chronic pain. “Pain” is such a relative concept, after all.

The rich Hawaiian soil and sparkling clean water make for some next-level weed. And beyond whatever medicinal benefit received, once you’ve smoked, vaped, or eaten a THC-loaded item and a strong buzz takes hold, well, there are sure worse places to be high than Hawaii (like most of them). State officials have managed to make the island state even more of a paradise. For that, the increasing jet-loads of Arizona MMJ patients who signed up in advance for their 329-OSPs say mahalo.

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