Big Island pot dispensary OK’d

HONOLULU — The state Department of Health has issued a formal notice to proceed to Lau Ola LLC, dba Big Island Grown Dispensaries, for its second licensed medical cannabis dispensary retail center, after passing its final onsite inspection. The company’s second retail center is located at 64-1040 Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela.

There are now nine licensed retail dispensary locations operating on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island. Big Island Grown Dispensaries opened its first retail location in Hilo earlier this year in January.

“We appreciate the ongoing efforts of licensees to meet Hawaii’s rigorous standards while continuing to expand their operations to provide for the needs of registered patients,” said Michele Nakata, supervisor of DOH’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Licensing Program. “The health department is committed to protecting the safety of patients and the public through the licensing program’s strict security and product-quality standards.”

There are more than 24,000 patients and over 1,800 caregivers registered statewide. Nearly 30 percent of these patients and 20 percent of the caregivers reside on Hawaii Island. As of Jan. 31, there were 6,814 registered patients and 388 caregivers on Hawaii Island. The primary qualifying medical condition reported for adult registered patients is severe pain. The primary reported condition for children under 18 years of age is seizures.

To ensure the highest standards of quality and care, dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county health and safety regulations, and are subject to unlimited, unannounced DOH inspections.

Each licensed dispensary is an independent business and operates based on their individual business plans. The other licensed retail centers operating in the state include one on Kauai, Green Aloha Dispensary in Kapaa, which received its notice to proceed on May 18.

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