The first two medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaii have been granted permission to go ahead with sales, another great leap forward for patients in the state.
The good news comes just over a week after the state’s Department of Health certified the first laboratory for testing products. The lack of an authorised testing facility was the final issue that had been holding back Hawaii’s program for quite some time.
Maui Grown Therapies was announced on August 8 as the first medical cannabis dispensary in the state to receive the DOH green light to proceed with sales.
“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler
Yesterday, Aloha Green became the second licensed dispensary in the state – and the first on O‘ahu.
“The opening of a licensed dispensary on O‘ahu is a major milestone for the more than 5,000 qualified patients and caregivers in Honolulu,” said Dr. Pressler.
Registered patients and their caregivers are permitted to buy up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period.
Hawaii’s program stipulates all medicines must be consumed on private property and not while driving a vehicle.
The latest figures from Hawaii’s Department of Health indicate the number of registered patients in the state reached 18,004 on July 31. The DOH says it is issuing roughly 1,200 “329 Cards” each month. The number of registered patients at the end of last month was approximately 3,500 more than at the end of July last year.
The Department of Health began administering the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program in 2016. It was originally hoped that dispensaries could commence operations last year, but various delays occurred that Dr. Pressler says were necessary to ensure the program was implemented correctly and avoided problems that some other U.S. states are now experiencing.
Medical cannabis has been legal in Hawaii for 17 years, but up until this time patients and caregivers needed to cultivate their own plants.