Green Aloha dispensary in Kauai is ready to open, pending its final inspections from the Department of Health (DOH). It’s hoping to be able to start helping patients within a month. Its application was approved two years ago.
Green Aloha will be the state’s sixth dispensary to open, Honolulu Civil Beat reports. Those on the Big Island are still waiting for dispensaries to open due to a few delays. It is estimated that one-third of Hawaii’s medical marijuana patients reside on the Big Island. The DOH is ready to start conducting those inspections as well.
Keith Ridley of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance said, “We’re ready to conduct inspections when they’re ready. I know they’ve had probably a little bit more delays than they’d like.”
Green Aloha’s Justin Britt said that the dispensary waited between six and nine months for some permits from the county. Britt believes it was just because county officials wanted to ensure everything was done right.
Britt said, “I feel very fortunate because with our counties, we’re actually getting to open. They’re (Big Island dispensaries) not even growing yet.”
Zachary Taffany of Hawaiian Ethos said, “I can’t just blame it all on the county…It’s getting compliance with (county and state agencies) and they don’t necessarily talk to each other. It’s our kuleana, we have to go to all of them.”
Hawaiian Ethos hasn’t opened any of its first yet, but is working with local officials to open additional locations – mainly in Hilo or Kona. A dispensary is planning to open in Hilo, Lau Ola dispensary, in August.
Hawaii is taking its time, although with a few hiccups, to ensure that all regulatory processes are properly followed. While some patients are waiting longer than others for access to dispensaries, inspections and approvals are ongoing.