After 17 years, Hawaii’s medical cannabis patients no longer have to wait to legally purchase their medication. On Aug. 8, 2017, the Department of Health approved Maui Grown Therapies as the first licensed medical cannabis dispensary to open for business in Hawaii.
Medical cannabis was first legalized in Hawaii in 2000, but patients have had limited to no access since then. The opening of Maui Grown Therapies is a win for patients and advocates alike.
“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.
According to the Department of Health, the Maui-based dispensary will sell dried medical marijuana flower to registered patients.
The DOH described dispensary approval procedures as “rigorous,” with dispensaries having to comply by Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850 requirements, as well as all state, county, health, safety and sanitation policies. Dispensaries must also be prepared for unscheduled DOH inspections.
Following Maui Grown Therapies, Honolulu-based dispensary Aloha Green announced it would be opening its doors for business on Aug. 9.
“We have successfully passed all DOH inspections, and every strain we have available has been certified free of mold, bacteria, and harmful pesticides,” as reported by Aloha Green via email.
“Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception. 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,” Pressler said.
Registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers are permitted to buy up to four ounces of marijuana every 15 days, not exceeding more than eight ounces in 30 consecutive days. Patients are only allowed to consume the product on private property.
There are currently eight licensed Hawaii medical cannabis dispensaries, each in different stages of licensing and approval.