Potential medical marijuana patients in Hawaii can now be certified by licensed physicians or ARPNs, but none of the eight licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were approved by July 15, 2016, the Department of Health’s opening day for dispensaries, to serve them.
According to the Associated Press, the DOH hasn’t received any applications from laboratories interested in testing the medical marijuana products.
“On the dispensary front, they’re all doing their best to open their doors with as diverse a product line to serve all of the many needs of the patients and all the qualifying conditions that are out there,” said Chris Garth, executive director of Hawaii Dispensary Alliance. “Until those products can be tested in a clinical capacity, no dispensary will be able to open their doors, no matter how perfect their product is.”
The Hawaii Dispensary Alliance recently released a report that once the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries open, they could produce revenues between $12 million and $38 million during their first year of operation.
Before those revenues start rolling in, prospective medical marijuana labs have to earn certification as meeting international standards. Spectra Analytical Lab is currently in the process of earning its international certification.
“It’s a big deal for a lab to get that certification, and that’s why nobody’s applied yet,” said Michael Covington, lead chemist for Spectra Analytical Lab.
Once Spectra Analytical Lab receives its certification, it plans to open by December so it can test the state’s medical marijuana products for potency, heavy metals and fungus.