Cultivation OK’d at Pono Life marijuana dispensary

The Maui News

The state Department of Health has approved the beginning of marijuana cultivation by Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, one of two medical marijuana dispensaries on the island.

The company is now authorized to acquire and grow marijuana seeds, clones and plants to provide marijuana and marijuana products to qualified patients registered with the department’s Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Program, according to a Health Department announcement Tuesday.

“We are honored to work with the state of Hawaii to bring a product to market that will help so many patients manage their conditions,” said Dr. William Mitchell Jr., Pono Life’s lead physician, a pulmonologist practicing with Maui Medical Group since 1979.

Pono Life Chief Executive Officer Michael Takano said the company aims to be an “outstanding community partner and provide excellent customer service, products and value-added solutions.”

“We are impressed with the state of Hawaii’s consistent attention to detail, and we are excited to reach this milestone and start growing cannabis for medicinal use.”

Pono Life Maui is the fourth licensee in the state to be issued a “notice to proceed to acquire and cultivate marijuana.” It will provide marijuana from its Kahului dispensary facility at the former Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport store on Dairy Road.

The business is expected to be open seven days a week and is currently open by appointment only to provide information, but not medicinal marijuana. The business hosts educational events to teach people about medical marijuana and the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Valley Isle’s other dispensary, Maui Grown Therapies, was approved on Feb. 1. The company operates a production center in Kula and a dispensary in the Maui Lani Village Center.

Its first harvest is expected in the next several months.

Eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses were issued in April. Three dispensary licenses were issued to Oahu companies: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Manoa Botanicals LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1 LLC, doing business as Cure Oahu.

Two licenses were issued to Big Island groups: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC. One license was issued to Green Aloha Ltd. on Kauai.

Each dispensary licensee is allowed to operate two production centers and two retail sites for a total of 16 production centers and 16 retail dispensary locations statewide. Each production center may grow up to 3,000 marijuana plants.

To receive state clearance for medical marijuana, dispensary production centers must comply with statutory and regulatory requirements that include building a secure, enclosed indoor facility; operating a computer software tracking system that inventories marijuana supplies and products and interfaces with the state’s system; and obtaining authorization from the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the state Department of Public Safety.

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