A medical cannabis dispensary is now open on Oahu.
The Hawaii Department of Health issued a formal notice Wednesday allowing Aloha Green to begin marijuana sales to registered patients.
The licensed retail center at the Interstate Building on S. King Street opened at 11 a.m. to a line of waiting customers.
Aloha Green currently offers six strains of medical cannabis, and is testing more than 40 at its production facility.
“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to breed and select specific cannabis plants that will grow well in a greenhouse setting, in a higher humidity and higher temperature environment,” said Tai Cheng, Aloha Green’s chief operating officer. “We’re starting at about $16 to $17 a gram, and it gets cheaper and cheaper as you purchase more and up to your allowable limit of four ounces every two weeks.”
“I’ll be semi-productive throughout the day… if I’m not using medical marijuana, but if I’m using it, my productive level goes up. My sense of well-being, my happiness, everything pretty much improves,” said customer Jared James.
Aloha Green says it has a number of security features inside its store, since dispensaries are cash only. Security guards are available to escort customers to their vehicles.
“This price is higher than black market pricing currently,” Cheng said. “We are very careful in pricing our product higher than black market prices. It’s very important that our product is not diverted into the general public.”
This is the first medical cannabis dispensary to open on Oahu, and the second overall in the state.
There’s no word yet when Oahu’s two other dispensaries, Manoa Botanicals and Cure Oahu, will open.
Maui Grown Therapies began sales in Kahului on Tuesday. Overall, there are eight licensed dispensaries in Hawaii.
The rigorous dispensary approval processes to open and begin selling medical cannabis are based on the requirements of Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850. Dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county, health, safety, and sanitation regulations, and are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.
Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period.
All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks.
When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.