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HONOLULU (AP) — One of Oahu’s state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries has started growing Hawaii’s first legal cannabis plants and anticipates sales to patients can begin in early summer.

The Department of Health approved Aloha Green Holdings Inc. and two other dispensaries to start acquiring and cultivating seeds, clones and plants, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/2lCBpob ) reported Monday.

“Feb. 1 we got the green light, so we just put seeds in the ground,” Helen Cho, director of integrated strategy, said Sunday at the Hawaii Cannabis Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but patients did not have a legal way to obtain the drug. A 2015 law allowed the state to issue eight licenses for a total of 16 production centers and 16 dispensaries.

The Health Department still needs to contract with laboratories to test the safety and quality of products, and the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system has to be connected with the state’s patient registry system to monitor purchases, Cho said.

“If those two things aren’t completed on the DOH side, even if we’re ready we won’t be able to sell,” Cho said. “We remain optimistic. We understand that they’re building this whole industry from the ground up.”


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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