Medical marijuana company opens office with focus on education

Today’s date is, in some circles, code for marijuana use — typically illegal use.

But one of eight companies licensed to legally sell medical marijuana in Hawaii used the day to promote its education initiatives.

Pono Life Sciences opened an office in downtown Honolulu.

The company has a license for Maui County, but CEO Michael Takano says the company’s Honolulu office will house its accounting, communications and administrative teams, as well as provide information about the medical marijuana industry.

Takano says Pono Life Sciences is well ahead of the game and waiting for the state to give the final go-ahead to start selling product to patients with prescriptions.

In the meantime, he says the company remains focused on informing the public not only on the science behind marijuana, but its benefits to patients and the population as a whole.

“It saves money for the healthcare system,” Takano said. “When you think of pain management and overdose deaths, and the problem that has and the costs associated with that, it’s pretty significant. If you think about the cost of abuse, drug abuse, I think having access to legal marijuana can address some of these issues quite well if done right.”

Takano is hopeful his company will be able to begin selling product in its dispensaries by early summer.

A total of eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses were issued in April 2016. Each dispensary licensee is allowed to operate two production centers and two retail sites for a total of 16 production centers and 16 retail dispensary locations statewide.

Each production center can grow up to 3,000 marijuana plants.

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