Hawaii Still Lagging On Launching Dispensaries

hawaii weedHawaii update: Delay likely for debut of medical marijuana dispensaries

Written by: Benjamin Riles
Sources: Associated Press, The Garden Island, mauitime.com, Hawaii Department of Health

The eight businesses selected in April to open the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries likely will not open their doors by July 15, as state officials have not yet inspected them.

Three dispensaries are opening on Oahu, while the Big Island, Maui and Kauai each will get one. There are no plans for dispensaries on Molokai and Lanai. The eight licenses are island-specific, meaning each business must follow local zoning laws, in addition to state and federal requirements.

“The Department of Health is unable to predict the progress by each licensee because there are a number of requirements that are outside of our department’s control,” spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

hawaii dispensary
Hawaii legalized medical weed years ago, but has yet to open a dispensary

RELATED: Moon Rocks Weed are Stuff Stoners Like Here’s How to Make Them
Vaporizers are Stuff Stoners Like

The Department of Health mandates that the businesses be in enclosed indoor facilities, have 24-hour security and a certificate to possess and handle marijuana. Each business is allowed to have two production centers and two retail dispensaries. The production center must be surrounded by fencing sufficient to prevent intruders and obstruct the view of marijuana inside the facility. Furthermore, federal law requires that growers avoid federally owned roads and national parks when transporting marijuana from an off-site production facility.

Shane Peters, spokesman for Kauai’s sole dispensary Green Aloha Ltd., declined to comment, but said he would be able to share information on its status sometime in July.

“Green Aloha Ltd. is doing their best to open in a manner that allows their operation to exceed expectation,” said Christopher Garth, executive director of the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance, a medical marijuana advocacy group. “Hopefully we can have someone opening their doors that have a robust menu and quality tested products by the end of year.”

Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process in 2000 with Act 228. However, the law provided no real way for patients to obtain medical marijuana besides grow their own. Under Act 241, the new law passed in 2015, the state has granted eight licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. There are over 14,000 registered medical marijuana cardholders in the state.

Leave a Reply