Marijuana Dispensary Selection Pushed to April 29

April 13, 2016, 3:33 PM HST · Updated April 13, 3:33 PM
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Employees inspect marijuana plants at Green Man Cannabis growing facility in Colorado. Photo credit: Green Man Cannabis.

Employees inspect marijuana plants at Green Man Cannabis growing facility in Colorado. File photo credit: Green Man Cannabis.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health is reviewing the criminal history records of applicants for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary licenses after announcing last week that applicants were given notice to provide consents and submit fingerprints.

The panel had hoped to make their selection by this week Friday, April 15, but say they may need another two weeks to ensure all applicants have a fair opportunity to comply with statutory requirements.

“The applicants have been very responsive and a majority of applicants were able to submit their fingerprints and consents by Tuesday,” said Peggy Leong, Supervisor for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program.

“A small number of applicants are traveling abroad and unable to respond as quickly as we had hoped. In addition, it also came to our attention that many business entities, such as limited liability corporations, corporations and trusts failed to submit the consents and fingerprints of the individuals involved in the entities. The department sent an email to all applicants clarifying the requirements of who is subject to a background check,” said Leong.

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Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler said the department has requested that applicants submit the remaining consents and fingerprints no later than April 25.  He said, “We will be pushing hard to complete our review and announce the licensees by Friday, April 29. While we regret the delay, we believe the priority is to do this the right way, and that includes being fair to the applicants by providing this additional time.”

Leong said the applicants have all been very cooperative and understanding, despite the challenges of establishing a brand new and complex program, “We really appreciate their patience and willingness to work through this with us.”

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