An unlicensed marijuana farm in Hawaii was raided early Wednesday by local police, state narcotics officers and federal agents.
Thousands of cannabis plants were seized at Care Waialua farm in Honolulu, and owner Jason Hanley’s home was also raided, according to Hawaii News Now.
Hanley has publicized Care Waialua’s operations in the past, including inviting lawmakers and the media to the co-op earlier this year, the news outlet reported.
He told Hawaii News Now that the farm provided space for medical marijuana patients to rent space if they couldn’t cultivate at home or afford to buy MMJ products from state-licensed dispensaries.
Through the end of July, roughly 33,000 patients were registered in Hawaii’s MMJ program, a total that has remained relatively flat since at least January 2022, according to state data.
Hawaii cannabis consultant Randy Gonce told MJBizDaily earlier this month that he estimates a third of MMJ patients:
- Utilize the card for personal grows.
- Stack several cards together to create larger cultivation operations and, ultimately, their own distribution and retail networks outside the scope of regulatory oversight.
Only eight MMJ dispensaries are licensed in Hawaii, scattered across four islands, which limits patient access.
While adult-use legalization efforts have failed to gain ground the past few years in Hawaii’s more conservative House, industry insiders are optimistic legislation could pass during the 2024 session.