Hawaii Braces for Surge in Medical Marijuana Patients

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health is preparing for a surge of patients signing up for the state’s medical cannabis registry, as two medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are officially open for business.

Hawaii News Now reports more than 18,000 patients have joined the state’s medical cannabis registry.

About 38 percent of the patients reside on the Big Island, while 29 percent live on Oahu.

Read more at High Times

Hawaii Says ‘Aloha’ to Legal Medical Marijuana Sales

Hawaii was the first state to pass a medical marijuana law through the legislature — now it’s finally getting dispensaries and legal sales: Registered patients in Hawaii may now purchase up to eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period.

Seventeen years after the state passed trailblazing medical cannabis laws in the legislature — and not through the ballot box — Hawaiian patients now have access to a regulated market, with the first two dispensaries now open.

After officially passing their final inspection from the Department of Health, Maui Grown Therapies transacted the first sales in the state for preregistered patients — narrowly edging out Aloha Green of Oahu (which opened August 9) for the claim to “first Hawaiian dispensary, even though Maui Grown didn’t officially open until August 14.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Hawaii Approves First Lab to Begin Testing Medical Pot

Hawaii finally approved its first laboratory to begin testing samples of medical marijuana—17 years after use of the drug was legalized in the state. The state Department of Health has certified Honolulu-based lab Steep Hill Hawaii, bringing Hawaii closer to the long-awaited date when dispensaries can begin selling products.

Steep Hill is an appropriate name for the lab, considering Hawaii’s long uphill battle to bring dispensaries to fruition, despite almost two decades of medical marijuana legalization.

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000. However, the state didn’t legalize dispensaries until 2015, leaving about 17,000 patients or their caregivers to grow or obtain the plant on their own.

Read more at High Times

Hawaii Veterans Turn to Medical Marijuana for Help

Photo by Vortex Farmacy. 

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii group is helping veterans cope with mental health issues by guiding them through how to use medical marijuana.

Honolulu News Now reported Thursday that Complimentary and Alternative Medicine is teaching vets how medical cannabis can help them with PTSD-induced pain and anxiety.

Read more at High Times

Hawaii Big Island Still Has Most Medical Pot Users

Photo by Vortex Farmacy. 

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports, according to the data released Friday, 38 percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii’s medical marijuana program were located on Hawaii Island. That’s down from 40 percent in March and 42 percent in December.

Read more at High Times

ALOHA GREEN TO OPEN FIRST HAWAII MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARY IN HONOLULU’S INTERSTATE BUILDING

Honolulu, HI (May 23, 2017) – Aloha Green Holdings Inc. (Aloha Green) will open Hawaii’s first retail medical cannabis dispensary on June 8, 2017 on the ground floor of the Interstate Building located at 1314 S. King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii. The dispensary will be open to the general public until lab tested cannabis products are available for purchase. Hawaii’s dispensary licensees are waiting for the State’s Department of Health to certify testing laboratories before qualified patient cannabis sales can commence.

While open to the general public, Aloha Green will carry and sell CBD-only products derived from hemp, and other related products. Hours of operation during the “soft opening” will be 7 days a week, excluding national and state holidays, from 11am to 7pm. Patient consultants and company representatives will be present to provide information on Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Registry Program, state and federal laws and regulations, Aloha Green as a company, and medical cannabis in general.

“Aloha Green is looking forward to connecting with the local community and providing the public a trusted way of learning more about medical cannabis. We are proud to represent the industry and to showcase the company’s commitment on professionalism, compassion, and safety,” states Tai Cheng, Chief Operating Officer of Aloha Green.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Hawaii Cannabis Patients Are Feeling the Love

From the eight dispensaries approved by the Aloha State’s department of health in the last year to a once ominous home grow ban now languishing in legislative limbo, Hawaii’s cannabis patients have a handful of reasons to feel warm and fuzzy this spring.

On the “mainland,” the Hawaiian islands are largely associated with newlyweds taking honeymoon strolls on picturesque beaches, surfers hanging ten on glistening waves and tourists drinking mai tais at hotel luaus.

It’s also tied to legendary strains like Maui Wowie, and that connection between cannabis and America’s slice of the Pacific is nothing new. Hawaii was something of a marijuana mecca by the 1970s and the plant has been medically legal there since 2000.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Hawaii Mulls Raising Taxes on Fledgling MMJ Program

Lawmakers in Hawaii are considering raising taxes on medical marijuana to help cover some the of costs associated with setting up the state’s MMJ program, but many are worried that a tax hike will hurt the very people who can least afford it: the patients.

State Rep. Della Au Belatti, chair of the House Health Committee, supports a so-called “Use Tax” on MMJ, on top of the existing general tax.

“We need to have that conversation, because we know that there are associated costs with setting up the medical marijuana program,”Belatti told Hawaiinewsnow. “There is a delicate balance that we’re trying to strike.”

Read more at High Times