Hawaii history was made today with the first legal sale of marijuana, nearly two decades after the state approved the use of pot for medical purposes.
Fred Rickert was the first customer at Maui Grown Therapies when he bought pot at around noon.
Maui Grown is the first of eight dispensary licensees to begin selling cannabis in the islands. The company passed a final Health Department inspection Monday, beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu, to be the first to open. Aloha Green said Monday it may hold a news conference today, but postponed the news conference until Wednesday.
The first sale of legal marijuana is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed in 2015. The law stated that dispensaries could open in July 2016, but the opening was delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical cannabis patients and caregivers.
“It’s been a long, winding road to get here and we’re extremely excited,” said Dr. Gregory Park, who co-founded Maui Grown Therapies at the Maui Lani Village Center at 44 Paa St. in Kahului. “Getting to this day required hard work, cooperation and patience, but it’s worth it to be able to bring this alternative therapy to our Maui community.” [Read more at Honolulu Star Advertiser]