Aloha Green will become the first medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii to have a “soft opening” in June, but customers won’t be able to buy products that elicit a high.
On June 8, Aloha Green is scheduled to open inside the Interstate Building at 1314 S. King St., selling non-psychoactive cannabis products containing tetrahydrocannabinol’s sister compound, cannabidiol. Anyone can buy these products — not just customers with a Hawaii medical marijuana card.
The dispensary always planned to sell both CBD and THC products, and as it waits for the state Department of Health to certify labs for testing THC products, it is almost ready to invite the public in, said Helen Cho, director of integrated strategy for Aloha Green.
Even though Hawaii legalized medical marijuana 17 years ago and started setting up a dispensary system almost two years ago, patients have not be able to legally buy it. Instead, they or a caretaker must grow their own plants. The state has now licensed eight medical marijuana companies, but only four have been approved to start growing marijuana.
The dispensary companies are still waiting for the health department to work with labs that will test and certify the marijuana, and merging the state’s patient registry with tracing software to ensure the right patients are getting their allotment.
Health department officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday on their dispensary timeline.
In the meantime, Aloha Green will stock its shelves with cannabidiol-only goods.
“Now at least we will have an effective way to connect with the community,” said Cho. “We haven’t been able to talk story and understand what our customers are looking for and what they may need.”
Cannabidiol aids with an assortment of maladies, from insomnia to seizures. Cho said there is overlap between what the CBD and THC compounds can do, but CBD will not produce any kind of high.
For now, the dispensary will offer products ranging from topical relief oils to products for anxious pets.
Once the THC products hit the shelves, only people with Hawaii medical marijuana cards will be able to enter the store and buy both CBD and THC products. Aloha Green planted its first crop in February and was the first in the state to have a commercial harvest last week, Cho said.
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