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Hawaii Cannabis Expo returns for second year

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Ed Rosenthal, nicknamed the “Ganja Guru,” judges marijuana plants at a competition designed to select nine specimens for display at the Oregon State Fair in 2016. The exhibit was the first time real pot plants were open for public viewing at the annual agricultural showcase. Oregonians voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2014. Rosenthal is among the guest speakers scheduled to participate in this weekend’s second annual Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hawaii State Rep. Della Au Bellati, center, and Sen. Will Espero, right, speak with the media at the State Capitol in 2015. They will take part in a panel discussing medical marijuana this weekend at the second annual Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Marijuana plants grow at the home of Jeremy Nickle, owner of Hawaiian Holy Smokes, in 2016. The state Department of Health said none of the state’s eight dispensaries were approved to open last July when they were officially allowed by law to begin operations.

As the Hawaii State Department of Health makes its way toward implementing new policies regulating the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, patients and caregivers along with medical professionals interested in learning more about the fledgling industry will be at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall this weekend for the second annual Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

Although Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, patients were still forced to either grow their own medicine or turn to the illegal black market to purchase what they needed until 2015, when a new law was passed allowing dispensaries to operate in the state. Last month, eight companies were given the green light to start growing medical marijuana as part of a new seed-to-sale tracking system.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 11; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 12, expo attendees will have opportunities to get more information about Hawaii’s medical marijuana program, including how to get certified as a patient and the different types of medicine available under the law. Along with wellness and patient advocacy resources, a variety of educational seminars will also be offered throughout the weekend.

Among the exhibitors confirmed to participate this year are title sponsor Rich Extracts, Steep Hill Hawaii, CBDream Topicals, Hawaii Cannabis Care, the Honolulu Wellness Center, Smokey’s Pipe and Coffee, CBD Wellness Hawaii and Seeds Here Now.

Special guests scheduled to appear at the expo include “cannabis cultivation artists” Ed Rosenthal, Danny Danko and Dru West; Oaksterdam University certified instructor Kirk “Captain Kirk” Reid will also lead a workshop on how to make marijuana-based edibles.

In addition, Hawaii State Sen. Will Espero and State Rep. Della Au Belatti will host a legislative update on Feb. 11; other panels will examine current medical marijuana extraction methods, the possible antitumor properties of cannabinoids, the use of medical marijuana in cancer treatment and the rights of medical caregivers and certified growers. The Cannabis Career Institute will also offer specialized job training from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 11 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12 (additional fees and registration required).

General admission to the Hawaii Cannabis Expo is $5 on Feb. 10, $15 on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12. Admission is restricted to those 18-and-over; minors must be accompanied by an adult. A three-day pass, good for admission to the expo and all free educational seminars and guest speakers is $20. Visit hawaiicannabisexpo.com to purchase tickets online and see a complete schedule of events.

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