Smoking first day of sales

  • John Steinhorst/The Garden Island

    Green Aloha’s Casey Rothstein takes a break outside the new Have a Heart medical marijuana dispensary on its first day of business Monday.

KAPAA — Medical marijuana is now available for the first time on Kauai. The new dispensary in Kapaa opened Monday and is called Have a Heart, operated by Green Aloha Ltd.

A line of registered patients waited to sample its cannabis products Monday as their doors opened.

“Our first day has been extremely busy so far,” said Casey Rothstein, chief operating officer for Green Aloha. “We have sold through almost everything we had pre-packaged, and we have our guys up at the facility packaging as much as they can, as fast as they can.”

The licensed dispensary had 55 scheduled appointments on their first day and nearly as many walk-in customers waiting with their medical marijuana cards in hand. By early afternoon, the store had already sold all of their sativa-dominant hybrid harvest but still had plenty of their indica strain and more of the award-winning “Purple Punch” hybrid on the way.

“We’ll be adding more strains and products over the next few months,” Rothstein said. “It was a slow difficult process getting through the county permitting, but we’re here and working hard to provide clean safe medicine.”

The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a notice to proceed after the Kauai dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed the final on-site inspection of its retail facility.

“Unfortunately we only have a few of our products available right now,” Rothstein said. “It’s going through the state track-ability system, and it takes a lot of time to get stuff approved.”

The state has strict tracking and testing, so each product has to go through its own approval process.

“We have to grow 100 percent of our products,” Rothstein said. “We have CBD and THC kief coming in the next few days. We going to be adding lozenges and tinctures in the next couple of weeks.”

A number of excited people waited outside the small store, many of them elderly people interested in treating a variety of ailments. No one would comment on the record about visiting the dispensary.

One 72-year-old customer from Kealia was waiting in line and did not wish to share her name because of stigmas associated with “pot.” She was was prescribed marijuana for arthritis and insomnia, which she said has allowed her hands to stop hurting so she can sleep.

Another senior patient with a walker, looking to treat pain from a spinal fusion and herniated disc, was unable to purchase because her medical marijuana card was expired.

“It’s a great thing to be able to safely go to a store and not feel like a criminal and get your medicine,” Rothstein said.

Another customer who wished not to be named was a 70-year-old doctor from Kalaheo who has recovered from cancer three times. He has been a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and advocate for almost 50 years.

“All I wanted was a simple thing like this, and it took years and years,” he said.

Have a Heart is at 4-1565​ ​Kuhio​ ​Highway and across the street from the Library/Neighborhood Center on mauka side.


  1. Knowitall May 22, 2018 5:59 am Reply

    One company is permitted to have a dispensary. Now they can price as high as they want. This is the opposite of capitalism and will be bad for the “patients” in the long term. At least three companies should be approved. After all that’s the number of bids the government receives for their own services

  2. observer May 22, 2018 7:13 am Reply

    Its interesting this operation is opening at a point in time when marijuana is destined to be legal on a federal level within 3 years. Hawaii will legalize also, we need the tax revenues , and all these dispensaries offering medicine will be competing with a thousand other brands at price points they cant compete with. Oregon and California’s price points have crashed through the floor, and their excess products arrive in our mail all the time. You can buy a gram in a oregon recreational store at “happy hour” for 5 dollars!!
    These operations should have been allowed from the onset of our states medical marijuana program, not approaching the end of the program. In 5 years there will be no medical marijuana programs anywhere. Youll get a scrip from your doctor, and the pharmacy will fill it, just like in germany. Big pharma and big tobacco will dominate this. HMSA will cover this, watch….
    Why would you buy dispensary weed anyhow when some of the worlds best growers live here and produce the finest top shelf marijuana at 200 per ounce? Black market or not thats half the cost of a Hawaii based dispensary.

  3. Charlie Chimknee May 22, 2018 9:02 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    The medical doctor had 3 recoveries from cancer ? You mean his ongoing cancer of 50 years dropped below the level of medical testing’s ability while his cancer continued and the symptoms were probably masked by or hidden by Medical Drugs and marijuana ?

    Getting stoned, buzzed, or high by any popular method is a daily habit craved by people the world over whether it be by alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco, or the list of so many other “items” that people use to escape from reality with substances that provide a euphoria in the people. For too many people on the world, they have discovered over the millennia of time of the humans living on earth, the temporary brain “fog” that is enjoyed by too many escaping their reality.

    You could say, therefore, that their reality is the cause of their craving habituated addiction to escape.

    However, not any of these “escape” devices are free from polluting the body and adding to the toxicity that causes disease. In this case the tars in the smoke of marijuana DISABLE the lung cells that allow the new oxygen entering the body to be exchanged for excreting the body’s waste product called carbon dioxide, this nutrition, oxygen, for transfer of waste toxin, carbon dioxide, ability of the lungs is done by the cells called alveoli.

    As medical drugs are not free from massive profits that depend on you being sick, so too is marijuana, and it’s sellers, legal or illegal they are not providing marijuana at non-profit, and further proof of profiteering is the need for pakalolo dispensaries so that even government can profit by taxation.

    On the other hand if drugs were both legal and free, all criminalty would disappear including the murderous cartels large and small in Mexico, Columbia, and Chicago. Thousands of innocent children and adults are murdered and sometimes massacred each year over drugs in many places of the World on a daily basis. Why aren’t these school shooting suspects tested for drugs whether they are dead or alive after the sick tragedy they caused.

    Decriminalizing marijuana “looks” like a step in the right direction labeling it as a medicine but it is an admission that marijuana is just more disease care that serves to mask symptoms and perpetuates the disease for further medical drug cartel profiteering; and keeps people from reaching their full potential of health, quality of life, and optimal longevity.

    The $4 Trillion a year spent on medical disease care if only 1/2 of that was spent on finding not the impossible cure, but spent on the finding and /or sharing with the people the already known causes of disease, clearly the need for medical disease care would plummet.

    If people were trained in Personal Healthy Lifestyles, not a favorite topic in the medical disease and drug world, the popular alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana craving would plummet as well. All of these drugs are a “monkey on your back” if you use them, making people a virtual prisoner of toxins that are scientifically poisons.

    If you compare alcohol to pakalolo and opiates and safety when it comes to driving, drunk drivers drive 80 MPH, pot stoners drive 8 MPH, and opiate adddicts stay home, while meth and cocaine addicts stay hiding from the boogie man.

    THC in marijuana is a chemical, alcohol and nicotine are chemicals too, and so are the addictive chemicals of heroin, opium, cocaine , methamphetamine, as are the toxic chemicals of all prescription and over the counter drugs.

    Do you think our Creator put us on earth to be be dependent on toxic and addictive and habituating chemicals ? All the while the few are earning and profiteering $ Trillions of dollars per year?

    Just think, if everyone was on one or more of these medical, street, or store bought chemicals, would the world be a better place ? Well a lot of people are NOT chemical free and the world already is not a better place.

    Could the world get worse, it sure seems to be getting that way already with crime, corruption, drugs, pollution, massive profiteering, and diseases are getting worse; while the failed treatments are getting to be more.

    Maybe it is time to try PREVENTION…!



    1. tunataxi May 23, 2018 10:38 am Reply

      I don’t smoke the stuff anymore but I did…. never felt addicted to it or alcohol for that matter. But if your all powerful God put it in existence he must have intended it to be consumed. After all it’s a “God” and Gods don’t make mistakes

  4. Lenny for mayor May 22, 2018 5:00 pm Reply

    Have the commenters ever smoked a joint? They probably did and it made them feel strange so they thought weed was bad!!! Plus I heard that it’s the same as opiates and alcohol. Yeah it is so bad. Wait till these patients smoke it and start causing trouble.”!! Reefer madness alive and well on kauai. Good job!!

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