Hawaii Allows First Lab to Begin Testing Medical Marijuana

Hawaii has approved its first laboratory to begin testing samples of medical marijuana 17 years after use of the drug was legalized in the state.

On Monday, the state Department of Health certified Honolulu-based lab Steep Hill Hawaii. That brings Hawaii closer to the long-awaited date when dispensaries can sell their products.

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. But the state didn't legalize dispensaries until 2015, leaving about 17,000 patients to grow or obtain the drug on their own.

Then medical marijuana dispensaries began opening in Hawaii this summer, but they could not sell their products because the state had not certified any labs to conduct the required testing. So they conducted outreach instead.


Hawaii medical marijuana industry lies stagnant

Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to open exactly one year ago today, but the industry has still not been able to get off the ground.

Of the state's eight licensed marijuana growers, six have received state approval to begin growing and at least three have marijuana ready to sell, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2teLFXV ). But the dispensaries haven't opened because the state Department of Health hasn't certified any of the three laboratories that will test the marijuana's potency and purity.

The department states it is still conducting validation studies with the labs and expects to certify them this summer.


Maui Grown Therapies aims to start medical marijuana sales in mid-July

Small, white-colored outgrowths from a Maui Grown Therapies cannabis flower, known as Trichomes, can be seen inside the company’s Kula production center. The crystallike hairs contain all the active compounds of cannabis plants. -- Maui Grown Therapies photo

July 17 is the target date for Maui Grown Therapies to begin selling medical marijuana by appointment only to registered patients, pending certification of a testing lab in Hawaii and other state Department of Health approvals, a spokeswoman said Friday.


Medical marijuana dispensaries, patients wait through delays

Medical marijuana dispensaries are beginning to open in Hawaii, but they're not allowed to sell their products.

Instead, the leafy medicinal greens they've harvested are sitting on a shelf unsold because nearly a year after dispensaries were legally allowed to open, the state has not yet certified any labs to run required safety tests.

That means dispensaries such as Aloha Green on Oahu have no income despite payroll, rent and operations expenses that top $100,000 a month.

"For us it's a little frustrating, having so many people on board, but it has to be done," said James H.Q. Lee, CEO of Aloha Green. "I'm more concerned for the patients, because people have been calling: 'We see it online, when are you going to open? We need our medical cannabis.'"


Marijuana Sales in Hawaii Await Approval of Testing Labs

Marijuana dispensaries still have yet to make a single sale more than a year after Hawaii awarded its first eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

The dispensaries cannot sell the drug until the state Health Department certifies laboratories to test the quality of the marijuana, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2rsUXgG) on Monday.

Helen Cho, director of integrated strategy for Aloha Green Holdings Inc., says her Oahu dispensary has marijuana stored and ready to sell. Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC also have marijuana ready to sell. A fourth company, Manoa Botanicals LLC, is growing pot but hasn't harvested it yet.

"We're ready to go," Cho said.


Hawaii legislature OK's numerous changes to marijuana dispensary law

The term “medical marijuana” could soon be scrubbed clean from state law and replaced instead with the phrase “medical cannabis.”

Lawmakers passed a bill this year that requires the state to make the change in state statutes, Hawaii Administrative Rules and in all state Department of Health documents, websites and medical marijuana program materials. The bill is awaiting approval by Gov. David Ige.

Supporters of Senate Bill 786, which was introduced by state Sen. Mike Gabbard, D-Oahu, say the word “cannabis” is most appropriate and accurate. Bill language says the word “marijuana” “carries prejudicial implications rooted in racial stereotypes” from the early 20th century, when the drug was first criminalized in the United States.


Hawaii Puts Cannabis Tracking in FedRAMP Cloud

The Hawaii Department of Health has deployed a live seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system in a cloud  environment authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. 

The state is using BioTrackTHC's State Traceability System in Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud for its state medical marijuana program. While FedRAMP is a federal program, the authorization gives Hawaii's cannabis regulators the highest level of data security available and is also expected to increase the speed of the state's Traceability System, company officials said.


State approves Hawaii's first two medical marijuana dispensaries

Hawaii’s first two medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved by the Department of Health.

Maui Wellness Group, d.b.a. Maui Grown Therapies, and Aloha Green Holdings on Oahu were given the go-ahead to acquire and grow marijuana for medical products.

Other dispensaries on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai are scheduled for inspections this month. Dispensaries on Hawaii Island are expected to be ready for inspection later this year.


Hawaii: First Maui Medical Cannabis Dispensary Located at Maui Lani

Maui Grown Therapies today announced its first medical cannabis dispensary is located in the Maui Lani Village Center at 44 Paʻa Street in Kahului.  The dispensary joins other medical, professional and retail businesses in the Professional Row section of the commercial development.

The company expects to sell cannabis and cannabis-derivative products approximately 112 days after it receives a “Notice to Proceed with Cultivation” from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. The company will host a series of open houses and educational events in the 2,112-sq. ft. dispensary building beginning in February 2017.


One of Hawaii Island's First Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Held a Blessing on the the Farm Where Richard Ha Once Grew Bananas

The principals of the Lau Ola medical cannabis dispensary invited their neighbors and associates to a blessing and ground breaking for the future site of their grow facility in Pepe’ekeo.

The gathering took place Tuesday morning on Kaupakuea Homestead Road, the former site of Richard Ha’s Hamakua Springs banana farm. Ha was joined by Lau Ola’s director of operations Dylan Shropshire, consultant Autumn Karcey of Cultivo Inc., and others helping to bring the project to fruition.

Keahi Warfield blessed the land where the phase one structure will one day nurture 3,000 marijuana plants. Ha said he plans to have the operation up and running toward the end of the first quarter of 2017. Lau Ola is allowed two dispensary locations, and plans to put one in Hilo and one in Kona.


Subscribe to RSS - Hawaii