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Medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to be in operation by July. But some major issues are facing dispensaries, such as limited laboratories and inter-island transportation being federally illegal.

There are large start-up costs associated with opening a laboratory. This can pose an issue for dispensaries preparing to open, because without a laboratory to test their medicine, the dispensary cannot sell medical marijuana, reports Star Adviser. Medical marijuana sales would be hindered.

Inter-island transport of medical marijuana is federally prohibited. So medical marijuana grown on a specific island must stay on that island. One difficulty this creates for Hawaii’s program is that demand on one island may be larger than the supply and could cause major shortages.

Lawmakers are proposing changes to allow for inter-island transport, especially for testing purposes. Adding to the struggle is that federal law bans the transport of marijuana by air or sea.

Hawaiian lawmakers are working to find a solution to the issue. President of the Drug Policy Action Group, Pam LIchty, says, “Clearly, not every island can support a full-on laboratory.”

Changes to the existing laws will have to be addressed before dispensaries are set to open in July. Another reason the changes are necessary is due to the possibility of crop failures. If a major crop fails on an island, those patients would be left without access to medicine according to the law as it stands now.

Although the federal government has said it will not interfere with state marijuana laws, legal transportation remains an issue. Transporting marijuana via planes can result in the revocation of pilots’ licenses. Some exceptions for airline transportation have been made in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as long as the person possessing marijuana is an authorized medical marijuana patient.