A bill to establish Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary system became law at midnight Tuesday 14th July, with Gov. David Ige’s signature.

The Hawaii state Department of Health has until Jan. 4 to finalize rules and regulations for the new system — a deadline that the governor has called "aggressive."

A highly competitive merit-based application process will commence in January, and only eight applicants will be awarded licenses. Each license holder will be allowed two dispensaries.

While the new law does not specify what the cost of medical marijuana will be in Hawaii, experts predict it to run from $200 to $300 an ounce.

An estimated 13,800 registered medical marijuana cardholders live in Hawaii. Qualified patients in Hawaii may purchase up to eight ounces per month under the new law.

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