A third Hawaii medical marijuana contractor received state approval today to begin legally growing pakalolo.
Manoa Botanicals LLC, which is opening a Honolulu dispensary on Young Street, joined Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu and Maui Grown Therapies, led by former Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. CEO David Cole, in getting the green light from the state Department of Health to start operations.
Marijuana production centers are required to be in a secure, enclosed indoor facility; operate a computer software tracking program that connects with the state’s system and submit to the DOH an inventory of all marijuana seeds, plants and manufactured products. Facilities also must obtain approval from the state Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division.
Before retail sales can begin, the DOH still must contract with laboratories to test the potency and purity of the drugs, and the state’s so-called seed-to-sale tracking system must be able to connect with its patient registry system to ensure patients do not purchase more than 4 ounces in a 15-day period. The law is silent on where the dispensaries will get the seeds or plants for cultivation.
The DOH said it is reviewing two applications from testing laboratories seeking to open on Maui and Oahu.
Hawaii legalized medical cannabis in 2000, but patients did not have a legal way to obtain the drug. There are more than 15,000 medical marijuana patients registered with the state.
Act 241, passed in 2015, allowed the state to issue eight licenses for a total of 16 production centers and 16 dispensaries: three on Oahu; one on Kauai; and two each on Maui and Hawaii island. Dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July 15, according to the law. They haven’t opened yet as the businesses have been gearing up and the state has been preparing its monitoring systems.