Two-time Academy Award winner and actor Woody Harrelson is among 59 applicants for licenses to cultivate and sell medical cannabis in Hawaii.
The Aloha State has allowed patients to grow their own medical marijuana for over 15 years, but dispensaries were only legalized last summer. Companies seeking eight coveted licenses submitted their applications in January, and the state Department of Health plans to announce the awardees by April 15.
Competition is fiercest on Oahu, where 32 companies applied for just three licenses. On Kauai, chances are twice as good for the five applicants who applied for a single license.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to open this summer in Hawaii.
Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat
Fifteen companies are seeking two dispensary licenses on Maui, and 14 companies applied for two licenses on the Big Island. Several organizations applied for licenses on multiple islands, resulting in 66 separate applications.
Keith Ridley, chief of the Department of Health Office of Health Care Assurance, said in a press release that the department is not planning to release any more information about the applicants.
“All other information on dispensary applications is confidential as we move into the evaluation and selection process,” he said.
Harrelson, who has starred in “White Men Can’t Jump,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and the HBO series “True Detective,” and his wife Laura are applying for a license in Honolulu. They have lived on Maui for several years. Their company Simple Organic Living LLC was established on September 30, 2015.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Harrelson was applying for a license to grow and sell marijuana on Maui. The company’s business registration form includes an address on Maui, but the company applied for an Oahu license.
Apart from Harrelson, the list of applicants include several well-known community members, including Henk Rogers, a tech entrepreneur who owns the intellectual property rights to the game Tetris; attorney Ivan Lui-Kwan, former city budget directory and chairman of the Board of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation which is overseeing construction of the controversial $6.6 billion Honolulu rail project; and Charles Kawakami, father of Kauai state Rep. Derek Kawakami and former president of Big Save Markets.
Others include attorney Lex Smith, who served as campaign chairman to Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and Richard Ha, a banana farmer from the Big Island and member of the state Board of Agriculture.
The list of applicants released Friday doesn’t include all the members of each company or its investors. Other notable people seeking to get involved in Hawaii’s medical marijuana industry include former Honolulu mayor and county prosecutor Peter Carlisle, who is investing in Wellness Group, and former state Attorney General David Louie, who is representing an applicant.
Dispensaries may open in Hawaii by July 15.
Here are the Honolulu County applicants (click to enlarge the table):