HAWAII ISLAND – Richard Ha’s Lau Ola LLC and Shelby Floyd’s Hawaiian Ethos LLC have been selected to become Hawaii Island’s first two Medical Marijuana Dispensary License recipients.
The Hawaii State Department of Health announced the selection of the eight winning applicants today on Oahu. Three licenses are being awarded for the City and County of Honolulu, two licenses each for the Counties of Hawaii and Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauai.
The selected applicants will now have seven days (after receiving their written notice of selection) to pay a licensing fee of $75,000 to the Department of Health. Failure to do so will result in their disqualification, and the next highest scoring applicant for the county shall be chosen.
“Upon the completion of the selection process and the awarding of licenses, the Department of Health will begin working with the selected licensees to ensure the safety of their products, and the safety of patients and the public,” said State Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler in a media release. “We look forward to improving access to marijuana for registered patients who have medical needs, and increasing educational opportunities for healthcare professionals.”
The application for Lau Ola LLC carried the weight of Richard Ha, a well known Pepe’ekeo farmer and Hawaii Board of Agriculture member. Early this year, Ha announced the closure of his long time Hamakua Springs banana farm operation, and gave away his final harvest in April. Ha was up front about his application to become one of the Big Island’s two medical cannabis dispensaries.
According to documents, Waimea’s Shelby Floyd is the name attached to Hawaiian Ethos LLC, the other chosen Big Island applicant.
Floyd is an attorney and at one time led the Slow Food Hawaii movement on the Big Island. We interviewed her during a fund raising trip to Waipi’o Valley in 2009. The video below has nothing to do with medical marijuana but it may shed light on Floyd’s agricultural philosophy.
The other applicants to be selected were:
City and County of Honolulu
Aloha Green Holdings Inc.
Manoa Botanicals LLC
TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu
County of Maui
Maui Wellness Group, LLC
Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC
County of Kauai
Green Aloha, Ltd.
A four-member selection panel reviewed and scored over 60 applications based on thirteen merit criteria, health officials say, including the ability to operate a business, a plan and timeline for operations, proof of financial stability, ability to comply with security requirements, and capacity to meet patient needs.
If the required payments are made, Lau Ola and Hawaiian Ethos may begin dispensing marijuana no sooner than July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department of Health. Both companies may operate up to two production centers and two retail dispensing locations on the Big Island.
“There are many steps the dispensaries will need to take in order to actually start production and dispensing,” explained Margaret Leong, Supervisor for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, “so we can’t say exactly when the dispensing will begin. But we are excited to start working with the selected licensees on the next steps.”
The health department will post a list of the total scores received by applicants upon completion of the awarding of licenses, which is anticipated to be completed within the next two weeks.