Despite a last-minute legal demand to delay the announcement, Hawaii’s Department of Health plans on Friday to announce the eight companies that will receive licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana.

Piko Farms & Nursery filed a motion Thursday to block the department from announcing the names of the licensees.

But Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall denied the motion for a temporary restraining order Thursday afternoon, Deputy Attorney General James Walther said in an email.

Marijuana dispensary hearing Dr. Virginia Pressler Director Dept of Health. 29 dec 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Hawaii Health Department Director Virginia Pressler will announce the names of eight licensees to grow and sell medical cannabis on Friday. Pictured here, she addresses lawmakers in December 2015, accompanied by other department staff. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said the company raised concerns about the application process. She declined to provide further details about the complaint.

Piko Farms & Nursery’s attorney Kevin Sumida filed a notice of appeal at the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

But Okubo said Health Department Director Virginia Pressler still plans to announce the names of the licensees at 11:30 a.m. Friday at a conference room on the third floor of Kinau Hale, in downtown Honolulu.

Sumida did not respond to a voicemail and email late Thursday afternoon. According to state data, the company’s business officers include Andrew Souza and Elijah Kane.

Piko Farms & Nursery was not among the list, released in February by the Department of Health, of 59 companies that applied for medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but only approved a dispensary system last year.

The highly competitive application process began in January and only eight licenses will be granted statewide. Applicants include actor Woody Harrelson and state Sen. Kalani English.

The state already has delayed the announcement of licensees by two weeks, in order to ensure all applicants could submit required fingerprinting information.

The law says the dispensaries will be allowed to open July 15.

State lawmakers who are considering amending the law to clarify several aspects of the dispensary system are set to meet Friday at 10 a.m. in Room 016 at the Hawaii State Capitol.

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