Hawaii May Tweak MMJ Cultivation Rules, Allow Outdoor Grows

Hawaii lawmakers, concerned with a possible disadvantage to medical cannabis growers and the cost of power for warehouse cultivation operations, could tweak the law soon to allow greenhouses and even outdoor growing.

If they do so, the ramifications for the eight upcoming licenses would be enormous, since real estate in Hawaii is a precious commodity and the law currently requires all MMJ to be grown “in an enclosed structure,” the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Allowing for greenhouses or outdoor growing could save dispensary license winners enormous amounts of money, just on electricity costs alone.

Some lawmakers even toyed with the idea of re-opening the state’s dispensary application period, which ran from Jan. 12-29, but policymakers speculated that the anticipated sky-high cost of growing MMJ indoors acted as a deterrent for many locals who otherwise would have applied.

The state received 66 applications for the eight dispensary licenses, the winners of which will have to grow their own MMJ.

2 comments on “Hawaii May Tweak MMJ Cultivation Rules, Allow Outdoor Grows
  1. Brett Roper on

    I believe this type of modification would not be a good idea at this early juncture as I understand many would be applicants did not apply due to this restriction and now, to change the regulations after those groups withdrew could result in legal challenges to the process. Additionally, there is not a significant ‘operating cost delta’ in a comparison of the greenhouse versus indoor environment as the power savings delta claimed by many (from indoor to outdoor) should only result in a minimal savings in the retail price to the consumer … by our estimates (using Colorado power consumption metrics) versus the higher rates currently experienced in Hawaii (3X) this additional cost of operations should be in the $10 per ounce range. The internal SOP’s for operations are generally based upon the cultivation practice deployed for growing (hand tending versus automation etc.) and should not vary significantly from one to the other. Obviously, the capital costs in comparison should favor a greenhouse deployment but I believe that an indoor controlled environment should generally produce a more predictable result in terms of consistency and safety of materials group for their any licensees initial 3,000 plant deployment. Even utilization of a greenhouse facility will require land and infrastructure that is very similar to an indoor or hardened grow so those costs will likely be very similar regardless. The actual capital cost savings would be related to the final deployment configuration noting both will still need indoor elements for production (extraction) as well as other ancillary functions (veg, trim, dry, cure, security, rest/locker rooms, secure storage, packaging, quality control, plant work areas, etc.) Additionally, humidity and heat management will likely play a role in cultivation depending upon the physical location of a cultivation facility noting an indoor environment may be easier to manage with the various levels of automation currently available to cultivators as the actual ‘under air’ cubic feet managed in comparison usually results in a smaller footprint for the indoor facility. In closing I would like to stress that there is no wrong way to cultivate; just preferred methods of the various groups out there cultivating. I think the State of Hawaii has done a pretty good job do far and tip my hat to them!

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