Hawaii dispensaries approved to begin growing cannabis

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The Hawaii Department of Health has given two dispensary operators the go-ahead to start growing medical marijuana, putting the state’s MMJ industry on track to start selling products in stores within a matter of months.

On Wednesday, Maui Wellness Group and Oahu’s Aloha Green Holdings became the first businesses in the Aloha State to receive permission to start cultivating, Pacific Business News reported.

Aloha Green Holdings expects to have MMJ available for sale in three to four months, according to Pacific Business News.

Hawaii has eight vertically integrated license holders statewide. Each can own two dispensaries and two cultivation centers.

Cannabis business owners in Hawaii were waiting for the BioTrack THC seed-to-sale tracking system to go online before they could be inspected by the state and receive approval to start growing. 

Dispensaries on Oahu and Kauai are asking for inspections this month, and dispensaries on the Big Island are expected to be inspected later in the year, according to The Maui News. Hawaii has eight vertically integrated license holders statewide; each can own two dispensaries.

The health department will next need to integrate the tracking system with the patient registry system. Hawaii had 15,334 registered MMJ cardholders as of Dec. 31, 2016. The department will also need to inspect and approve dispensary locations, as well as certify laboratories to test cannabis.