What a big day. This morning we all stood around our office waiting to learn if our group was one of two Big Island groups granted a medical cannabis dispensary license. We knew they were going to announce it at 11:30 this morning.
Our office isn’t in operation anymore, because we closed down the farm and so of course we aren’t taking any orders. But there we were in the office anyway, watching the press conference on Hawaii News Now on five or six iPhones, two or three iPads and a couple computers. That’s how we found out, same as everybody else.
From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
Business Breaking | Top News
April 29, 2016
Updated April 29, 2016 1:03pm
The state Department of Health announced the selection of applicants for eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses today. Prominent Big Island farmer Richard Ha was among the winning applicants, while actor Woody Harrelson was not.
The winning applicants and owners, according to the department, were:
>> Aloha Green Holdings Inc., Thomas Wong;
>> Manoa Botanicals LLC, Brian Goldstein;
>> TCG Retro Market 1 LLC, Tan Yan Chen;
>> Hawaiian Ethos LLC, Shelby Floyd;
>> Lau Ola LLC, Richard Ha;
>> Maui Wellness Group LLC, Gregory Park;
>> Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, William Mitchell Jr.;
>> Green Aloha Ltd., Justin Britt.
Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15.
A four-member panel reviewed nearly 66 applications to open dispensaries based on criteria including companies’ proof of financial stability, ability to comply with security requirements and being able to meet patient needs….
Read the rest
When they announced our group Lau Ola was awarded one of the licenses, it was like we were watching the Super Bowl and somebody scored a touchdown. I was elated, and then I thought, “Holy Smokes.” It’s a huge deal, and I am thinking about the big picture.
As I wrote on my Facebook page, the more I looked into the medical use of cannabis, the more I realized how vast the potential is for really helping people. Here in Hawaii, my inspiration was Jari Sugano and her daughter MJ, who’s six. MJ has an extremely rare disorder that causes children to have uncontrollable seizures. Medical cannabis is one of the only medications that helps her. Read their story here.
There’s also the potential for our UH Hilo School of Pharmacy to lead the way in medical cannabis research, and for our College of Ag to lead the way in production methods. I intend to have a conversation with them both to see how we can make this happen.
Thanks to everyone for all the support. It’s an honor for our company Lau Ola to have been awarded one of the two dispensary licenses on Hawai‘i Island, and it’s also a big responsibility. We will take this responsibility very seriously.