Medical cannabis patients in Hawaii will soon be allowed to use their certification cards for up to two years, if they are eligible.

Beginning Thursday, patients can apply for the extended renewal. Up until now, only 60-day or one-year renewals were permitted.

Wei Geng Lum, a program specialist at the Medical Cannabis Patient Registration, said the extension is meant to assist patients who have chronic conditions.

“We believe if we provide this two-year option it may be good for the patients, especially for a lot of senior citizens,” she said. “If they need to go to see their doctor every year, or if they need to use medical cannabis for years, this two-year option may be better for them.”

The program update is aligned with most medical cannabis programs in other states, she said.

Hawaii Department of Health officials recommend that patients consult with their physicians or nurses before applying for an extended renewal, because application fees will be nonrefundable. The fee for a two-year renewal is $77, and a one-year renewal is $38.50 for in-state patients. A 60-day card renewal for out-of-state patients is $49.50 and is allowed twice per calendar year.

As of June 2019, there are nearly 26,400 registered medical cannabis patients living in Hawaii. Hawaii also has about 400 out-of-state patients.

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