comscore First medical marijuana dispensary in Waikiki gets green light | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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First medical marijuana dispensary in Waikiki gets green light

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 9

    Marijuana at Aloha Green Apothecary. The state has approved the first medical marijuana dispensary in Waikiki.

The first medical marijuana dispensary in Waikiki is slated to open today at noon in the bustling tourist resort district.

Aloha Green Apothecary won approval from the state Department of Health to begin retail sales at 2113 Kalakaua Ave., across from the high-end shopping complex known as Luxury Row. It is the second retail location for Aloha Green, which was the first dispensary to open on the island in August 2017 in the Interstate Building at 1314 South King St.

The 1,500-square-foot pot shop will carry the company’s entire line of products, including cured flower, oil cartridges, tinctures, topicals, concentrates such as shatter and rosin, lozenges, infused oils, and oral sprays. The dispensary will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and offer kamaaina pricing, as well as veteran and senior discounts.

“As cannabis becomes more widely accepted across the nation and an increasing number of individuals use medical cannabis, more visitors are looking to secure a source of trusted medical cannabis as a critical part of their traveling plans,” said Aloha Green spokeswoman Helen Cho. “Our company strives to serve the needs of our local patients while also supporting the state’s efforts in maintaining and strengthening its stronghold as a destination economy.”

The state now has a dozen medical cannabis dispensaries: five on Oahu, one on Kauai, two on Maui and four on Hawaii island. Since March, the start of the DOH’s online registry for residents and visitors, the Health Department said it has approved cards for more than 1,000 out-of-state patients from 25 states and the District of Columbia. The state passed a law last year allowing tourists to get temporary registration cards to purchase and use the drug legally while in the islands.

“Aloha Green’s Waikiki dispensary will help make cannabis for medical use more accessible to registered patients living in Hawaii as well as registered patients visiting the islands,” said Michele Nakata, supervisor of DOH’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Licensing Program, in a news release.

Hawaii has more than 26,700 patients and more than 2,100 caregivers registered to use the federally illegal drug to treat various medical conditions. As of July 31, there were 11,414 registered patients and 1,086 caregivers on Oahu using pakalolo mostly to treat adults with severe pain and children with seizures.

Hawaii dispensaries sold 1,569 pounds of medical marijuana totaling $12.6 million in 2018, state statistics show. That’s projected to grow by “thousands” as more tourists use medical marijuana in the islands.

For more information on the state’s medical cannabis program go to health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabis/.

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