Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary system becomes official at midnight

Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary system becomes official at midnight

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Enlarge Matthew Staver A bill to establish Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary system will become law at midnight Tuesday, without Gov. David Ige ’s signature. The Hawaii state Department of Health has until Jan. 4 to finalize rules and regulations for the new system — a deadline that the governor has called “aggressive.” A highly competitive merit-based application process will commence in January, and only eight applicants will be awarded licenses. Each license holder will be allowed two dispensaries. While the new law does not specify what the cost of medical marijuana will be in Hawaii, experts predict it to run from $200 to $300 an ounce. An estimated 13,800 registered medical marijuana cardholders live in Hawaii. Qualified patients in Hawaii may purchase up to eight ounces per month under the new law. Assuming each patient bought one ounce at $200 per month, the industry could reach $2.6 million in gross sales per month, or $31.2 million a year. That’s roughly $3.9 million in sales per month per dispensary. According to Forbes, the average price of marijuana in Hawaii on the illegal market is $307 per ounce. Hawaii’s law allows for additional licenses to be distributed as early as October 2017. DOH Director of Communications Janice Okubo told PBN it is likely the department will allow “market forces to work as much as possible,” since only eight licenses will initially be distributed.

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