The first dispensaries in Hawaii likely won’t begin serving patients until much later this year, even though they’re officially allowed to open next week.
The reason: they’re simply not ready.
Hawaii officials just awarded business licenses in late April, so the companies that will grow and sell cannabis at up to 16 dispensaries in the state are still establishing their operations and ensuring they meet the slew of regulations imposed on the industry.
The companies will also have to begin growing marijuana and wait until their first harvests.
To date, state regulators haven’t yet completed final inspections for any dispensaries, the Garden Island reported.
“The Department of Health is unable to predict the progress by each licensee because there are a number of requirements that are outside of our department’s control,” a state spokeswoman told the news outlet.
The delay was expected, given the small window of time between when the state awarded licenses and when sales could officially begin.
A spokesman for the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance predicted that at least one of the state’s allowable 16 dispensaries – each of the eight licensees can operate two storefronts – will begin serving patients by October.