Hawai‘i Island’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary to Begin Retail Sales
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has issued a formal notice to proceed to Lau Ola LLC, dba Big Island Grown Dispensaries, after the Hawai‘i Island dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed the final onsite inspection of its retail facility, according to a Jan. 15, 2019, press release.
Big Island Grown Dispensaries is the seventh licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state and the first on Hawai‘i Island to receive approval to begin sales of medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers.
The licensed retail center for Big Island Grown Dispensaries is located at 750 Kanoelehua Ave., Ste. 104, in Hilo.
The dispensary expects to begin with sales of dried flower this week, with additional strains, extracted oils, tinctures, topicals, cartridges and other manufactured products being released in the future.
The company is also planning for two additional retail centers in Kona and Kamuela.
“The opening of a medical cannabis dispensary on Hawai‘i Island expands options for registered patients and their caregivers, providing greater access to meet medical needs,” said Michele Nakata, supervisor of the DOH medical cannabis dispensary program. “The licensing program remains committed to working collaboratively with the licensees to protect the safety of patients while ensuring an efficient and thorough inspection and certification process.”
“We would like to thank the Big Island community for their patience as we built our facilities and developed our company to grow clean, reliable, lab-tested cannabis medicine that is of the highest quality,” said CEO Dylan Shropshire. “We have over 100 unique strains and phenotypes that we will be rolling out over the next year along with a large diversity of high-quality concentrates and manufactured products. We plan on always pricing affordably and providing patients with the best in-store experience possible.”
As of Nov. 30, 2018, there were approximately 6,659 registered patients and 383 caregivers on Hawai‘i Island of the total 23,479 patients and 1,734 caregivers registered statewide. The primary reported condition for adult registered patients is severe pain. The primary reported condition for children under 18 years of age is seizures.
Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850 govern the rigorous dispensary approval process to open and begin selling medical cannabis. To ensure the highest standards of quality and care, dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county health and safety regulations. Dispensaries are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.
The other licensed retail centers operating in the state include:
- Maui Grown Therapies, located at 44 Pa‘a St. in Kahului, Maui, which received a notice to proceed on Aug. 8, 2017;
- Aloha Green, in the Interstate Building at 1314 South King St. in Honolulu, which received its notice to proceed on Aug. 9, 2017;
- Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, at 415 Dairy Road in Kahului, Maui, which received its notice to proceed on Sept. 29, 2017;
- Noa Botanicals, located at 1308 Young St. in Honolulu, which received its notice to proceed on Oct. 9, 2017;
- Cure Oahu, located at 727 Kapahulu Ave. in Honolulu, which received its notice to proceed on March 16, 2018; and
- Have A Heart at 4-1565 Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i, which received its notice to proceed on May 18, 2018.
Registered 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. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.
All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks.
There are eight medical cannabis licensees in Hawai‘i. Two are in Hawai‘i County: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC, dba Big Island Grown Dispensaries. Three are on O‘ahu: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals LLC dba Noa Botanicals; and TCG Retro Market 1 LLC dba Cure Oahu. The two Maui licensees are Maui Wellness Group LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies; and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC. The one Kaua‘i licensee is Green Aloha Ltd. dba Have A Heart. Each licensed dispensary is an independent business and operates based on their individual business plans.
More information on the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program is available online.