State briefs for May 21

Officials say 3 monk seals found dead on Oahu in 1 week

HONOLULU — Officials are investigating the causes of death for three monk seals that were found on Oahu in the span of one week.

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An adult female seal identified as RK60 was found floating offshore on Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said in a statement.

The seal had previously been sighted on May 2, but reported to be in good condition.

Officials believe she may have been “floating listlessly” or logging in Kaneohe Bay days before she was discovered lifeless.

“This logging behavior can be a symptom of a sick seal,” officials said. “Reports of this behavior did not reach NOAA until after RK60 died, but more timely reporting may have given NOAA a chance to intervene and help her.”

On Wednesday, a female pup was found in Laie, and an adult female seal identified as RT10 or Ua Malie was found Thursday in Kahuku.

She is believed to have been the pup’s mother.

Post-mortem exams have been conducted, although the bodies’ decomposition limited any definitive conclusions that could be drawn.

Officials think the three deaths are unrelated and don’t appear to be suspicious.

“There were no invert signs of trauma, fish hook ingestion, or entanglement, but we still don’t know what the ultimate cause was,” said Angela Amlin, the organization’s Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator.

Lab results are expected to be completed in the coming weeks to determine the exact causes of death.

Officials are urging the public to report monk seal sightings so their health can be tracked.

Kauai’s first medical pot dispensary approved to begin sales

HONOLULU — Kauai’s first medical marijuana dispensary has received approval to begin sales on the island.

Have a Heart will open for business Monday after receiving approval from the state Department of Health late last week.

The retail facility has completed laboratory testing requirements and passed the final onsite inspection.

It is the sixth license medical cannabis dispensary in Hawaii, the Garden Island reported .

“Having a medical cannabis dispensary open on Kauai expands options for registered patients and their caregivers, providing greater access to meet medical needs,” said Keith Ridley, who oversees the health department’s dispensary program, in a statement. “As dispensaries continue to open across the state, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the licensees to protect the safety of patients while ensuring an efficient and thorough inspection and certification process.”

The Green Aloha Ltd.’s store will sell indica, sativa and hybrid cannabis flower strains to registered patients and caregivers, the Star-Advertiser reported .

It expects to offer cannabidiol, or CBD, hash and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, hash, lozenges, tinctures, topicals and other cannabis products in the future.

Registered patients and their caregivers are allowed to buy up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of medical cannabis during a 15-consecutive day period and up to 8 ounces (227 grams) over a 30-consecutive day period.

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They are required to store cannabis products in a sealed container and keep them from public view.

The other licensed dispensaries that have also been approved to open for business are Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC on Maui and Aloha Green, Noa Botanicals and Cure Oahu in Honolulu. Dispensaries on the Big Island are expected to open later this year.

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