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Lab Delays Force Maui Dispensary to Suspend Sales

August 13, 2017, 8:13 AM HST (Updated August 14, 2017, 6:07 AM) · 19 Comments
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Representatives with Hawaiʻi’s first medical cannabis dispensary say lab delays are forcing the business to suspend sales. Subject to Action by the State Lab Division, sales will resume Wednesday, Aug. 16, according to information provided by Maui Grown Therapies.

Maui Grown Therapies will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 14 & 15, and reopen on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at noon.  Due to uncertain product availability, the company will extend its sales by appointment policy until further notice.

The dispensary became the first in the state to begin selling medical cannabis on Aug. 8 to registered patients, and was expected to begin general sales for walk-in customers at its dispensary at the Maui Lani Village Center on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.

However, today, dispensary representatives say they are awaiting action by the Hawaiʻi State Labs Division to help unclog a backlog of products. The company anticipated its most recent batch of flowers to clear lab certification by today, but that has not happened.

Due to high demand, the company sold out its first batch of certified flowers on Saturday, five days into operation.

To prevent patients from fruitless trips to its dispensary, representatives say the company will close on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 14 & 15, and reopen on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at noon. Also, due to uncertain product availability, the company will extend its sales by appointment policy until further notice.

“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, Director of Product Management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

Since opening last week Hawaiʻi dispensaries could sell only flowers— resulting in depleted flower stocks on Maui and disappointed patients. “We could serve thousands of patients with the amount of manufactured product we currently have available for final compliance testing,” said Cole. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24th to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients – and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change.”

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Maui Grown Therapies co-founder and oncologist Gregory Park, MD is disappointed by what company representatives are calling an “administrative bottleneck” from a health perspective. “It’s ironic that our vehemently anti-smoking Department of Health is forcing cannabis patients to smoke to get relief,” he commented.

To better manage sales traffic to match product availability, Maui Grown Therapies will extend its “sales by appointment” policy until further notice. Patients may make a sales appointment through the company’s website or may call (808) 866-7576 for more information.

Dispensary operating hours have been adjusted to Mon-Sat, from noon to 6 p.m. until further notice. As required by law, Maui Grown Therapies will be closed for Admissions Day on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017.

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