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Hawaii DOH posts rules for medical marijuana dispensaries

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    In this Aug. 19 photo, Canna Care employee John Hough waters young marijuana plants at the medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento, Calif.

The state Department of Health today posted interim administrative rules for the medical marijuana dispensary licensing program.

The rules can be found online at under “Dispensary Updates.”

The interim rules are effective immediately and will remain in effect until July 1, 2018, or until rules are adopted.

“The interim rules were written first and foremost to effectively implement the medical marijuana dispensary law and get the dispensary system up and running. The rules have also been drafted to ensure patient safety, product safety and public safety, and prevent marketing to our keiki. This product is intended to be used for registered patients who need it for medical purposes and the rules are written specifically to accomplish that goal,” state Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said in a news release.

Among other requirements, the interim rules explain:

>> criteria and process for awarding dispensary licenses;

>> security requirements;

>> standards for certifying laboratories that will be responsible for ensuring the safety of the marijuana or manufactured marijuana products distributed at the retail dispensing locations;

>>requirements for operating the dispensaries, including tracking each dispensary’s inventory of products from seed to sale or disposal.

The state’s medical marijuana dispensary law allows the Health Department to award a total of eight dispensary licenses: three for the City and County of Honolulu, two each for the County of Hawaii and the County of Maui, and one license for the County of Kauai.

Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail dispensing locations.

The initial open application period for licensing begins Jan. 12 and closes on Jan. 29.

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