Hawaiian Ethos gets approval to grow marijuana

  • File photo Marijuana plants.

The state Department of Health authorized the first business on the Big Island to grow cannabis and manufacture cannabis products.

Prospective cannabis dispensary Hawaiian Ethos LLC was issued a “notice to proceed to acquire and cultivate cannabis” Tuesday, having passed all state inspections and met all requirements to produce medicinal marijuana products.

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Some of the state requirements for medical cannabis businesses include building a secure, enclosed facility, having a computer tracking and inventory system and authorization from the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the state Department of Public Safety.

Hawaiian Ethos was one of eight businesses awarded a medical marijuana dispensary license in April 2016, and one of only two on the Big Island. The licenses permit each business to operate two production centers capable of growing up to 5,000 cannabis plants and two retail sites.

Six of the licensees already opened dispensaries. The two that haven’t are those on the Big Island.

The opening of Hawaiian Ethos’ planned Kailua-Kona dispensary has undergone repeated delays. While the opening was once scheduled for February of this year, it was moved to an undetermined date in the summer pending building permit approvals.

Since then, a timeline for opening the dispensary is still unknown.

Hawaiian Ethos Community Relations Director Kea Keolanui said in February that the company’s second dispensary will be opened in Hilo after its Kona dispensary begins operations.

“We continue to diligently work with the county’s agencies to allow our dispensary doors to be opened at the earliest time possible,” said Hawaiian Ethos Director of Communications Diana Hahn in a statement. “We are thankful for the community’s patience while our state-of-the-art production facilities are completed to ensure high-quality production of medical grade cannabis products.”

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The other licensed Big Island dispensary, Lau Ola LLC, also has suffered delays. In February, the company said it planned to open its Hilo dispensary in July. Permitting delays and construction complications have pushed back the opening to an undetermined date.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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