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Medical cannabis dispensary is shut down

Pono Life Sciences Maui issued notice of violation an order

Pono Life Sciences Maui operations in Kahului were closed on Tuesday. The state Department of Health issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Pono Life “due to the licensee’s ongoing failure to submit annual independent financial audits” according to Hawaii law.

The state Department of Health has revoked the medical cannabis dispensary license of Pono Life Sciences Maui, requiring the closure of its Kahului retail operations and medical cannabis production.

The Health Department said on Tuesday that it issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC, and its individual licensee, Dr. William Mitchell Jr.

The NOVO was issued due to the licensee’s ongoing failure to submit annual independent financial audits as required by Hawaii law, a news release said. The licensee has 20 days from receipt of the NOVO to request a hearing to contest the notice.

In an email Tuesday afternoon, Pono Life Maui Interim Chief Operating Officer David Griffith said that the company has “engaged with a premier financial auditor and is currently in the process of completing its audits.”

“We plan to pursue a hearing as soon as possible and to continue to serve the Maui community with the highest quality medical cannabis and education-driven service,” Griffith said. “We expect to have more details in the coming days, which we will share with the community.”

The Maui News / KEHAULANI CERIZO photos

The section of the law pertaining to the violation says that “upon revocation of a dispensary license, a licensee shall immediately cease dispensing cannabis and manufactured cannabis products and cease all operations in dispensary facilities,” the DOH news release said.

The DOH said Pono Life Sciences retail location at 415 Dairy Road in Kahului is closed and will remain closed until further notice. A phone message at the location said it was closed temporarily.

A similar message was posted on its website Tuesday.

Pono Life Sciences is one of two medical cannabis dispensaries on Maui. The other is Maui Grown Therapies, which was the first dispensary in the state on Aug. 8, 2017, to begin sales of medical cannabis.

Pono Life Sciences later in 2017 became the second on Maui and the third in the state to begin selling medical cannabis.

The DOH said that registered medical cannabis patients on Maui may find an alternate dispensary location at https://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabisregistry/dispensaries/

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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