Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC got the green light today to begin growing medical marijuana on the Valley Isle.
The company is the fourth licensee to receive approval from the state Department of Health to acquire and grow up to 3,000 pakalolo plants. Manoa Botanicals LLC, which is opening a Honolulu dispensary on Young Street, received state approval Thursday to begin cultivation. Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu and Maui Grown Therapies, led by former Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. CEO David Cole, got the OK earlier this month.
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.
Hawaii legalized medical cannabis in 2000, but patients did not have a legal way to obtain the drug. 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, but the state and dispensaries weren’t ready.
Click here more information on the medical marijuana dispensary program.