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Marijuana sales may be tricky for Hawaii

With less than five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters.

Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15, but industry experts say they could be confronted with challenges unlike those in other states, such as navigating rules that ban inter-island transport and limit the number of growers — all of which could cause marijuana shortages. A lack of labs to test the crop presents another challenge for state lawmakers.

“Hawaii is going to be a really interesting market in general, basically because of the geography,” said Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily. “First, it’s a chain of islands separated by bodies of water, and second, it’s remote.”

The Hawaii Department of Health is currently reviewing dispensary applications, and plans to award licenses in April. Actor and marijuana...

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