For two hours on Tuesday, Maui Grown Therapies opened its doors for the first time. They had to take it slow. Though the state of Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, they didn’t legalize dispensaries until 2015 and then it took up until recently for them to establish testing labs. Naturally, by now, demand is high.
Luckily, it’s time for the roll outs! Eight medical marijuana dispensaries were distributed licenses across the islands last year and the Honolulu dispensary Aloha Green has been inspected and is set to open for the people’s wellness today.
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Tuesday was historic, but the newly opened dispensary program doesn’t come without its hiccups. Dispensary prices are on the high side with a gram going for $20 and a quarter going for up to $125, less depending on strain and quality. These higher price tags are due to the high cost of electricity in Hawaii, lab testing expenses and taxes.
Patients have been waiting 17 years for a place to go and legally obtain their medicine. Growing your own or even getting your own can be more than difficult when ill and having lab tested cannabis is equally if not more important. Labs test for things like powdery mildew, mold, pesticides and other contaminants. Contaminants can be deadly for certain disorders, such as when a patient has a compromised immune system.
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So far sales have been by appointment only, as dispensary owners ease into a market that’s been waiting with bated breath and is ready to roll in and start purchasing. Maui Grown Therapies pre-registered patients to come in, avoiding a flooded doorway. Patients and dispensary owners alike are very excited, however, and walk-in sales are expected to begin in about a week.
Caregivers and the people they’ve been providing for are thrilled with the lab tested aspect and are also happy simply to have a place to legally obtain clean medicinal cannabis. Hopefully as time goes by more locations will be able to open, the locations that are already licensed will have access to lab testing and patient patients will have enough access to contaminant free weed to ease what’s ailing them.