The very first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary of Hawaii has opened its doors; however, the state’s lab has forced them to suspend marijuana sales.

Hawaiian citizens long awaited a licensed marijuana dispensary. It became the first time patients in this state were able to buy quality-assured cannabis. The dispensary started registering patients earlier this week. Each gram of marijuana was sold for $20. The patients showed satisfactions though there were some problems with the software of the store. However, the dispensary will be closed on August 14 and 15 due to problems with the state lab certification.

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“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, director of product management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

A historic day in Hawaii

According to the director of community relations and patients’ affairs, the approved dispensary sold the drug to patients for about two hours on Tuesday but stopped in a bid to manage the new development properly. The cannabis is being sold in the Maui Grown Therapies after it went through careful inspections by the state health authorities. According to Freitas Gorman, each gram of medical marijuana has a price of $20, while a quarter ounce is sold for $90 to $125 in line with the strain. The dispensary said that the price of the product would vary depending on the conditions of Hawaii including the high power bills, substantial taxes, lab testing and delayed sales.

The director of the state Department of Health, Virginia Pressler, said that it is a historical day for qualified patients and health care providers in Maui because now they can acquire certified marijuana.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 17 years ago. However, no dispensary had the license to sell it. Therefore, it was known that about 18,000 patients had to grow their own drug or manage to find it. Last year, eight marijuana dispensaries were approved to start selling the drug in Hawaii. They began to grow it, but they couldn’t sell it because the state hadn’t issued the license to any lab.

Patients can make appointments through the website of the dispensary, or they may call (808) 866-7576 for more information.

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Hawaiians now will be able to buy tested and certified health-friendly marijuana

Maui Grown Therapies started registering patients on Tuesday, and it was able to start selling the drug on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, it was forced to stop selling the drug because of a backlog, the demand was higher than the supply, and the lab could not cope up with the needed marijuana. They don’t know if they will have product availability. The dispensary said that their most recent batch of flowers and products were expected to have the certification by the state lab on Saturday, but that was not possible. The state offices didn’t work on Saturday. Therefore, today they could only sell flowers, so patients were quite disappointed. However, the Honolulu-based dispensary is reworking its opening hours very soon despite this administrative bottleneck.

The company said it needs the Department of Health’s State Labs Division “to help unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality-assured medicinal cannabis products.”

The dispensary was forced to stop sales and to change its working hours

The dispensary wanted to continue selling on August 14; however given to the recent problems with the state’s lab, it said it needs to close on Monday and Tuesday, but it is reopening at noon on Wednesday (August 16), hopefully.

Cole stated that they intended to offer their products to thousands of patients, but they were forced to stop selling. He said that even if their dispensary was approved by the Department of Health on May 24 to manufacture cannabis products, they have some restrictions, because there is only one lab – the state’s lab – that has the license, and it is preventing the dispensary from offering their products. He also said that they don’t know when his situation is going to change. Certainly, they cannot be as efficient as they would want to be if they don’t count with the full support and diligence of the lab they depend on.

The state Health Department officials have not said anything about this issue.

The dispensary had announced it was supposed to work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. However, with this new situation, it will be working from noon to 6 p.m. Maui Grown Therapies will also be closed for Admissions Day on Friday, Aug. 18.

Source: The Island Packet