Hawaii’s four-member panel awarded its eight medical marijuana licenses on Friday, laying the foundation for dispensary infrastructure in the state, Hawaii News Now reported.
The licensees are allowed two dispensaries and two production centers, but must first pay a $75,000 licensing fee to the Department of Health. The law allows dispensaries to start selling cannabis as soon as July 15, but several applicants are aiming closer to the end of the year.
Manoa Botanicals, Aloha Green Holdings, Inc., and Cure Oahu were selected to operate in Oahu; Hawaiian Ethos and Lau Ola won the licenses for Hawaii County; Maui Wellness Group and Pono Life Sciences Maui won the two available licenses for Maui County, and Green Aloha will serve Kauai County.
Lau Ola is owned by Richard Ha, a former Big Island banana farmer. In a blog post Ha wrote that he would reach out to University of Hawaii’s Hilo School of Pharmacy for cannabis research, and the state’s College of Agriculture for production methods.
“When they announced our group Lau Ola was awarded one of the licenses, it was like we were watching the Super Bowl and somebody scored a touchdown,” Ha wrote. “I was elated, and then I thought, ‘Holy Smokes (sic).’ It’s a huge deal, and I am thinking about the big picture.”
In order to be given final approval the licensees must have an enclosed indoor production facility, a product tracking system, and security systems in place. Products also require lab testing. The companies’ prices are not yet set.
Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson’s Simple Organic Living, one of 66 total applicants, was not selected for a license.
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