17 years after Hawaii legalized medical cannabis, the legal sale of the medicine through a state-sanctioned dispensary has finally begun.
Maui Grown Therapies (44 Paa Street, Kahului) officially opened their doors today after receiving approval from the Department of Health to begin operations. According to Teri Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs for the dispensary, they have been pre-registering patients and are currently accepting people only by appointments, though walk-in says are expected to start as soon as next week.
“Clearly this is a historic day not just for Maui but for the state of Hawaii,” says Freitas Gorman. “This is the first time in Hawaii that patients will be able to buy lab-tested, quality-assured medical cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary. We’re so excited.”
“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, in a statement. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception.”
Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 2000, though lawmakers didn’t approve dispensaries until 2015.