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First Dispensary Approved to Begin Sale of Medical Cannabis

Posted August 12, 2017, 11:00 AM HST
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Marijuana-bud

A dried bud taken from a marijuana plant.

A Maui dispensary is the first in the state to receive approval from the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) to begin selling medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers.

Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies, received a formal approval notice on Aug. 8 after completing laboratory testing requirements and passing a final onsite inspection.

“Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “With legal guidance from Department of the Attorney General, the DOH team paved the way for this new industry in Hawai‘i and has set a new standard for dispensary programs other states can emulate.”

On Hawai‘i Island, there are currently two licensed dispensaries for medical cannabis: Hawaiian Ethos, LLC and Lau Ola, LLC. Both are in various stages of getting state approval to begin sales.

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The rigorous approval process to open and begin selling medical cannabis ensures public health and safety according to state and county laws. Approved dispensaries are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.

Under Hawai‘i state law, registered cannabis patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period. Use of medical cannabis is restricted to private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, or in any public space. Federal law prohibits medical cannabis use or possession on federally owned properties such like military installations and national parks. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchase at a dispensary, patients must keep it out of public view in a sealed container.

Statewide, there are currently eight licensed dispensaries including three on O‘ahu, two on Hawai‘i Island, two on Maui and one on Kaua‘i. The dispensaries are at different stages of development by the licensees, and at varying stages of the approval process to begin sales.

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