Pubdate: Tue, 08 Aug 2017
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2017 Star Advertiser
Author: Kristen Consillio


Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for
business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical

Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at
11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands. The company
was the first to pass a final Health Department inspection Monday,
beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on
Oahu, to be the first to open.

It is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to
get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed
in 2015. The first dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July
2016, but were delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical
cannabis patients and caregivers.

"It's been a long, winding road to get here and we're extremely
excited," said Dr. Gregory Park, who co-founded the dispensary at the
Maui Lani Village Center at 44 Paa St. in Kahului, in a news release.
"Getting to this day required hard work, cooperation and patience, but
it's worth it to be able to bring this alternative therapy to our Maui

At least three dispensaries have had marijuana ready to sell but
couldn't open until the state certified an independent laboratory to
test the potency and purity of the drug to ensure patient safety. The
Department of Health certified last week the state's first pakalolo
testing lab, Steep Hill Hawaii on Oahu.

Following the lab certification, Maui Grown Therapies notified its
nearly 300 registered patients that cannabis samples were on the way
to Honolulu for mandatory testing. The dispensary had been registering
patients since July, and will have a "soft opening" today with sales
by appointment only for registered patients before opening to the
general public on Monday.

The dispensary shelved a plan to open today with derivatives such as
oils, lotions and tinctures, in addition to cannabis, because the lab
is not certified to test manufactured products.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Hawaii in 2000, but patients have
had no legal way to obtain the drug. As of July 31 there were 18,004
registered patients, up 413 from the month before.

Operating hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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