Medical marijuana sales could begin this summer on Maui after one of the island’s two licensed dispensaries received approval Wednesday to begin cultivation.
The state Department of Health issued “Notices to Proceed to Acquire and Cultivate Marijuana” to Maui Grown Therapies and Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu. The notices followed inspections of both groups’ production centers as part of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program.
The Maui group’s first medical cannabis harvest is expected in the next several months.
“It’s an exciting day,” said Teri Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs for Maui Grown Therapies. “It’s all hands on deck for sure.”
The company is authorized to acquire and grow marijuana seeds, clones and plants for the purpose of providing marijuana and marijuana products to patients registered with the Health Department’s Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Program, the department said in a news release.
Each dispensary licensee is allowed to operate two production centers and two retail sites. Each center can grow up to 3,000 marijuana plants.
The department inspected three dispensary production centers in January. All licensees must meet statutory and regulatory requirements, which include building a secure and enclosed indoor facility requiring clearance from the state Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division following an inspection.
“Our staff has been working diligently to schedule and conduct inspections on multiple islands while completing training and testing of the seed-to-sale tracking system, which is critical to all dispensary processes and required by law,” said Keith R. Ridley, chief of the state Office of Health Care Assurance. “Today’s milestone is a major step forward, and the state and dispensaries have worked very hard to get to this point. There’s still much more work ahead as we take all the necessary steps to ensure safe products for Hawaii patients.”