‘Bottleneck’ temporarily closes pot dispensary

‘High demand’ leads to sold-out first batch of certified product

The Maui News

Maui’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary to open for business will be closed Monday and Tuesday and change its operating hours while Maui Grown Therapies awaits action from the Department of Health’s State Labs Division, the company announced Saturday.

Action by the division is needed “to help unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality-assured medicinal cannabis products,” Maui Grown officials said.

The company had expected its most recent batch of flowers to clear lab certification by Saturday, but that didn’t happen.

“Due to high demand, the company sold out its first batch of certified flowers on Saturday,” the company’s announcement said. “To prevent patients from fruitless trips to its dispensary, the company will close on Monday and Tuesday.”

It will reopen at noon Wednesday.

“Due to uncertain product availability, the company will extend its sales by appointment policy until further notice,” the announcement said.

“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, director of product management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

The company opened the doors of its dispensary Tuesday at its Paa Street location in the Maui Lani Village Center. The dispensary’s posted hours at the time were 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Maui Grown was the first state-authorized medical marijuana dispensary to officially open for business.

State offices were closed Saturday, and state Health Department officials could not be reached for comment.

Since opening last week, the dispensary could only sell flowers — resulting in depleted flower stocks on Maui and “disappointed patients,” Maui Grown said.

“We could serve thousands of patients with the amount of manufactured product we currently have available for final compliance testing,” Cole said. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24th to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the state’s only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients — and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change.”

Maui Grown Therapies co-founder and oncologist Dr. Gregory Park was “disappointed” by the state’s “administrative bottleneck.”

“It’s ironic that our vehemently anti-smoking Department of Health is forcing cannabis patients to smoke to get relief,” he said.

To better manage sales traffic to match product availability, Maui Grown announced it would extend its “sales by appointment” policy until further notice. That means that patients may make a sales appointment through the company’s website: www.mauigrowntherapies.com.

Dispensary hours have been changed to noon to 6 p.m. until further notice.

For more information, call 866-7576 or visit www.mauigrowntherapies.com.

COMMENTS