Hawaii gets its own medical marijuana dispensary

Published Apr 1, 2019 10:41 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The popular tourist destination has offered access to medical marijuana with a license since Hawaiian Governor Ben Cayetano signed Act 228. The Act contained legislation to govern how many plants a card holding medical marijuana patient could grow at any one time, as well as how much they could legally carry on themselves in public. Where it could be legally consumed or acquired was not a part of this bill leaving citizens with no access to dispensaries or vendors.

The medical marijuana dispensary program

In 2015 MMDP was created to compile a list of registrants who would qualify for access to dispensaries once they opened. Toregister, a patient must provide a letter from a licenced physician showing a need to access medical marijuana for health reasons.

Dispensary announcement

In late 2015 a formal announcement was made just after Act 241 passed saying that plans were in place to begin providing cards to register patients, opening dispensaries, and protections for marijuana use in public for those who have a medical need for cannabis that would start once the program received official approval from the Department of Health.

Medical marijuana dispensary system

In 2016 a Senate Bill referenced as 321 was put in place to establish a group of eight dispensaries that are designed by the island. The very first legal medical marijuana sale was made in 2017 through a government approved vendor, but the dispensaries themselves didn't begin to appear until now.  

Opening day

On January 16 customers could be seen lined up eagerly waiting for the long awaited medical marijuana storefront to open its doors to the public for the very first time. Some came from as far away as Hawi which is 82 miles away to be a part of opening day. Many seemed relieved that they could finally get access to weed strains that will help them with their debilitating symptoms without having to grow it themselves from seed. During the first business day the tiny islands dispensary served just over 500 customers and now has over 6500 official cardholders who can access the facility.

Big Island Grown Dispensary  

Though to start Big Islands Dispensary only had four weed strains available to choose from for customers on opening day, they did promise that clients would see their inventory explode to include over 100 different phenotype weed strains alongside the introduction of cannabis derived oils, tinctures, edibles, drops, and pills into the next year. Their location at 750 Kanoelehua Ave Suite 104 is centrally located offering access to the most highly populated area in the region.

Big Island Grown current marijuana product list

Those four select weed strains have quadrupled in the last couple months with 12 different types currently available including popular medicinal choices like Alien Rift, Critical Cure, Golden Triangle Kush, UK Cheese, and Valley OG. Prices for medical marijuana bud flowers are slightly higher than the national average cost, priced around $40 for 3.5 grams of product. Other new items include Banana Kush Flower Rosin and 4 different potencies of cannabis-infused topical lotions for pain.

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