East Hawaii News

New Medical Marijuana Applicant Requirements Push Back Licensee Annoucement

April 13, 2016, 3:50 PM HST
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California State University file image.

California State University file image.

The review of criminal history records on applicants who have applied for Medical Marijuana Dispensary licenses is pushing back the announcement of licensees by two weeks.

On Wednesday, the Hawai’i State Department of Health announced that the review process was ongoing after last week’s request to applicants to provide consents and submit fingerprints, and that the process would take extra time.

Initially, DOH noted that the announcement of licensees would be made on April 15.

Peggy Leong, Supervisor for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, said that applicants have been “responsive” and that many submitted their fingerprints and consents by the initial deadline set.

“A small number of applicants are traveling abroad and unable to respond as quickly as we had hoped,” Leong said. “In addition, it also came to our attention that many business entities, such as limited liability corporations, corporations, and trusts failed to submit the consents and fingerprints of the individuals involved in the entities. The department sent an email to all applicants clarifying the requirements of who is subject to a background check.”

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Leong says the extension would provide applicants a “fair opportunity to comply with the statutory requirements,” noting that some applicants wouldn’t be able to respond until later in the month.

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Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler said that the new request for consents and fingerprints is April 25.

“We will be pushing hard to complete our review and announce the licensees by Friday, April 29,” Dr. Pressler said. “While we regret the delay, we believe the priority is to do this the right way, and that includes being fair to the applicants by providing this additional time.”

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