On August 8, Tuesday, Maui Grown Therapies receives the go signal from the Department of Health to become the first dispensary to legally sell medical cannabis in Hawaii. The move was a historic win for cannabis users, advocates, and patients alike who waited for nearly two decades to get legal access to the drug.
After the firm was granted permission, director of community relations and patient affairs Teri Freitas Gorman announces they will begin to dispense medical marijuana right away. Gorman expressed her excitement over the department’s nod and is eager to provide patients with quality cannabis products.
“This is the first time in Hawaii that patients will be able to buy lab-tested, quality-assured medical cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary,” says Gorman.
The dispensary already started pre-registering patients. For now, they will sell medical cannabis on an appointment basis only. For those who don’t want to set up appointments, Gorman says the walk-in sales will be available in a week.
Among the 50 states, Hawaii was one of the first who spearheaded marijuana legalization. Medical marijuana finally became legal in the state in 2000. Unfortunately, that did not include licenses to distribute for dispensaries.
With the health department’s green light, it’s about time the state’s 18,000 patients get the access they require without the need to go the extra mile to obtain the drug.
A potential panacea?
With its legalization, cannabis is receiving more share of the spotlight in medical research, with some of the previous studies revealing promising results for the treatment of a diverse array of illness and diseases.
The roster includes glaucoma, seizures, pain often associated with serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases, even simply increasing metabolism or reducing anxiety.
Some researches also look into the drug as a potential for helping prevent the spread of cancer cells, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and soothe tremors experienced by Parkinson’s patients.
A successful challenge
Health department director Virginia Pressler shares the patients’ enthusiasm over legalizing the dispensation of medical cannabis.
“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” Pressler said.
Echoing the common legislative difficulties that often occur before finalizing a departmental nod, she adds, “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception.”