- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A Kauai group plans to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary on the island and create a storefront that is entirely locally funded and operated.

The state’s approval of a licensing system for medical marijuana dispensaries will create easier, safer access for the more than 1,800 registered users on Kauai, lead director of the Kauai Dispensary Project Judiah McRoberts told The Garden Island (https://bit.ly/1IVq5cE).

“A lot of these patients are going through the black market and the product in the black market is not regulated or tested in any way, shape or form,” said McRoberts. “I think developing a dispensary on Kauai can provide safe, quality control, reliable place where people can come and purchase cannabis products for their medical needs.”

Medical marijuana became legal in Hawaii 15 years ago and there are nearly 13,000 registered patients in the state. The new law will allow them to buy up to 8 ounces of marijuana per month.

If the dispensary is approved, McRoberts said he is planning two retail locations and two production centers with no more than 3,000 plants each.

McRoberts said his project has been approached by three investors and is creating an advisory board of legal advisors, medical professionals, security experts, farmers, engineers and patient advocates.

The board will be responsible for developing plans to be submitted with the application for a dispensary license, which will become available in January 2016.

A Kauai resident for 19 years, McRoberts said he is planning to hold dialogues with the community to address concerns.

Some Kauai residents oppose the plan to build a dispensary on the island.

“I’m just worried that this can get in the hands of our children, like how alcohol did and other drugs,” said Theresa Koki, the coordinator of anti-drug program Life’s Choices Kauai. “I mean, who’s going to be raising these kids if the parents going always be stoned?”

Koki said she is not opposed to marijuana-based medication, but wants to see more regulation, like FDA approval of oils for children with epileptic seizures.

The dispensary funds should go toward “treatment for kids hooked on marijuana because they’re going to touch their parent’s or uncle’s stash,” she said.


Information from: The Garden Island, https://thegardenisland.com/

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