Hawaii’s Department of Health (DOH) continues to delay and deter sufficient access for marijuana patients. Currently the industry in Hawaii is a closed loop monopoly with all the cannabis grown indoor—not under the sun as you’d expect. During a hearing at the state Capitol Wednesday DOH officials weren’t able to provide lawmakers with a clear timeline for the certification of medical marijuana testing labs.
The eight licensed dispensaries in Hawaii must channel all herb through one licensed testing lab Steep Hill in Oahu. Each dispensary must get the herb to a lab and back again before they can put medicine on the shelves. Right now there is only a single testing lab services eight dispensaries scattered on all the islands.
Steep Hill, which originated in Oakland, California can’t keep up with the demand of the Hawaiian people. What’s worse? Nobody seems to know when more labs may be licensed or when they will be granted a right to test derivatives. Senator Rosalyn Baker of Maui asked a health official at the hearing, so when do you anticipate that another lab is going to be certified and a lab that can certify product — manufactured product — is gonna be certified?
The Director of the DOH, Christian Whelen, basically said the ball is in the labs’ court and the DOH needs data proving that they’re capable of detecting pesticides in samples. In response to Sen Baker’s question at the hearing he said, “That’s a crystal ball question. I can’t predict when the labs are going to submit those data packages to me. They tell me soon. I can’t predict when they will do that.” He continued to put the blame on the labs by stating, “We’re doing the best we can to help them try to move their status forward.”
Two dispensaries. Thousands of patients.
Hawaii’s 18,000 patients in the medical cannabis registry need access to medicine. If Hawaii had a free enterprise system the dispensaries would be able to offer patients a full selection of quality marijuana, maintain an adequate supply and boost the local economy. Instead the state has decided to allow only a handful of lawful dispensaries and allow them to supply their own cannabis. Instead they currently have only two dispensaries—soon expanding to eight. The two in operation, Maui Wellness and Aloha Green are struggling to meet an insatiable demand. Aloha Green states on their website that “Product availability may affect open times and dates.” Because of the unfortunate lack-of-labs bottleneck patients can only access marijuana during the hours of 11 am and 7pm just a few days a week—Wednesday through Sunday.
Scoring medical marijuana is even more difficult at Maui Wellness who work Don Shearer Hawaii’s helicopter-piloting, pot profiteering drug warrior. You need to make an appointment to purchase pot. Reps from the
monopoly dispensary say that they are extending their “sales by appointment” process to better balance product supply with patient demand. Currently Maui Wellness operates only a few hours a week—Tuesday through Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm and by appointment only. They asks that all patients consider their “fellow Mauians and limit their purchase to a maximum of one ounce of cannabis flower per visit.”
Keep in mind that cannabis patients in Hawaii can skip limits, long lines and appointment-only drama by growing their own marijuana. Growers can flower outdoor all year long throughout the state because the chain of island lies near the equator. Plus there are cannabis genetics that are specifically designed to flourish in all the unique climates zones throughout the state—from extremely high and dry to extremely low and wet. We recommend sourcing your genetics directly from our buds Sticky Fingers and Greyskull Seeds. Tell ’em that we sent you and they’ll show you some extra love. Keep it local. Oh by the way STAY TUNED for a couple new SIGNATURE STUFF STONERS LIKE strains available in seed from one of these legendary Hawaiian breeders. More info to come.
Are you planning to travel to Hawaii next year and take advantage of the reciprocity laws—meaning that you can buy weed if you’re a marijuana patient—beginning January 1st, 2018? Think Hawaii’ll have this dispensary debacle worked out by then? Let us know in the comments section below.