The Hawaii State Department of Health has given formal notice to proceed to Cure Oahu, a dispensary located at 727 Kapahulu Avenue, in Honolulu. The cannabis business renovated a former Bank of Hawaii building, where the dispensary will be located.
Cure Oahu will be the third dispensary located in Honolulu and the fifth in the state. Pacific Business News also reported that the company has secured real estate on Oahu’s North Shore for operation and cultivation facilities.
The Cure Oahu dispensary opening coincides with just over the eight-month mark, since the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Hawaii. The process for legal medical cannabis sales in Hawaii has been a bumpy one–voters initially approved sales in 2000, but regulations for cannabis businesses were not decided until 2015, when Act 241 was signed into law. The first dispensary in Hawaii, Maui Grown Therapies, opened in August 2017.
Delays have been caused by slow rollout of state-approved testing laboratories. There are eight licensed cannabis businesses located throughout the state of Hawaii, but, currently, only four are operating dispensaries. Cure Oahu will be the fifth when it opens. The businesses with operating dispensaries are located on Oahu and in Maui County, where there are also operating testing labs. Up to 10,000 state-registered patients are located in Oahu and Maui.
On the Big Island and Kauai, there are no operating dispensaries or testing labs to date. While another 10,000 registered patients in those areas are allowed to purchase medical cannabis products at dispensaries on Oahu or in Maui County, Hawaii’s unique geography makes medicine less available to those residents. Many of the conditions approved for treatment with medical cannabis are debilitating and prevent travel.
Health department officials recently told Hawaii News Now that since medical sales began in August 2017, the industry has generated $2.8 million in gross revenue.