Just recently, Hawaii finally joined the growing number of U.S. states where it is legal to purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, to the dismay of many patients using medical cannabis in the Aloha State, Hawaii’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary has closed its doors less than a week after opening them. If you’re in Hawaii and you’re considering buying medical marijuana, don’t worry. The reason for the closure is not what you think it is.
Unfortunately, the dispensary has to temporarily suspend operations just a few days after in order to modify its opening hours as demand for its products continue to exceed supply. Under the law, Maui Grown Therapies is allowed to sell only marijuana flowers. The company has expected to receive state lab certification for its latest batch of products on Saturday, August 12th. However, Hawaii’s Department of Health failed to provide the necessary certification, resulting in depleted flower stocks and “disappointed patients” for the dispensary.
Maui Grown Therapies said it needs the Department of Health’s State Labs Division to lend a hand in order to “unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality-assured medicinal cannabis products.” The company will be closed on Monday and Tuesday and will resume operations at Wednesday noon. Patients who want to buy medical cannabis on Wednesday must first set an appointment with Maui Grown Therapies through its website.
Christopher Cole, director of product management at Maui Grown Therapies, expressed disappointment over the delays in distribution due to the oversight of state health officials. “It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need. We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”
Cole added that the medical marijuana dispensary could have served thousands of patients with the products they currently have. However, they were unable to do so because the products they offer are still required to pass a final compliance testing. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24th to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients – and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change,” he pointed out.
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Following the closure, Maui Grown Therapies has adjusted its operating hours to Monday to Saturday, noon to 6pm until further notice. Also, to better manage sales traffic to keep up with product availability and to avoid backlogs down the road, the dispensary said it will extend its “sales by appointment” policy, also until further notice.