After what seemed like an endless delay, the 50th state of America has announced its permission for medical cannabis cultivation. Hawaii dispensaries will be allowed to grow weed for sale starting from Feb. 1.
Though the state legalized medical marijuana dispensaries in 2015, until now, they had been unable to cultivate and sell weed because of the lack of a tracking system.
The federal law requires establishing a software system for tracking medical cannabis from seed to sale. Last week, the Hawaii Department of Health reported that the online tracking system had finally been developed.
The state licensed eight companies for medical cannabis supply in 2016, but only four businesses have claimed that they are ready to cultivate the herb. They are Aloha Green and Manoa Botanicals on Oahu along with Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences on Maui. If the first seeds are planted in February, it will take three to five months for the first marijuana yields to be produced.
According to Brian Goldstein, founder and CEO of Manoa Botanicals, this is great news for marijuana producers, but there will be some challenges. For instance, their medical cannabis products are required to be lab-tested before sale. However, there is no certainty as to when exactly their products will be certified by laboratories.
Teri Gorman, founder of Maui Grown Therapies, shares that although this permission gives the green light to grow medical weed, there are also other problems that dispensaries are facing. The company's production facilities cannot open without one more inspection from the state government that will allow the company to get approval for medical cannabis cultivation.
The state's Department of Health claims it is considering two applications from labs that will operate on Oahu and Maui. The Department also expects to unite the patient registry with the tracking system in the next several months. The patient registry now includes more than 15,000 medical cannabis patients in the state.