A Big Island pakalolo dispensary formerly known as Lau Ola has appointed a new chief executive following the departure of Hawaii island farmer Richard Ha.
The dispensary recently changed its name to Big Island Grown (B.I.G.) Dispensaries, one of two isle medical marijuana licensees, and appointed Dylan Shropshire as CEO, effective immediately. Shropshire previously served as chief production officer.
The change comes as the dispensary prepares to open three retail centers, the first in mid-January at the Lehua Center in Hilo. The other two locations will open in the Malama Pono Center in Waimea and in the Brewers Block in Kona.
“I am very pleased to take over the role of CEO, especially as we gear up to open our three retail locations this month,” Shropshire said in a news release. “This is a very exciting time in the medical cannabis industry, and I look forward to bringing the people of Hawaii the highest quality medical cannabis and products.”
Shropshire was raised on the Big Island and graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy before attending the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business.
He has managed diversified agriculture businesses and has worked on sustainable land management and real estate development. In 2015, Shropshire helped to secure funding and assemble a team to win one of eight licenses to run the first pot dispensaries in Hawaii.
Ha resigned in November, two weeks after the state gave the startup approval to begin growing cannabis.
The state legalized medical cannabis in 2000, but patients had no legal way to obtain the drug until Maui Grown Therapies opened in August 2017, followed by Aloha Green Apothecary in Honolulu. The other pot retailers include Pono Life Maui and Noa Botanicals and Cure Oahu in Honolulu. In May, Green Aloha Ltd., doing business as Have a Heart, also started sales on Kauai. In August, Hawaiian Ethos, the other Big island dispensary, also received approval to start weed cultivation.