Collective Medical Marijuana Farm In Oahu Hawaii Faces Uncertain Future Amid Legislative Action

The future of a large marijuana farm on Oahu, the third-largest Hawaiian island is under threat. Critics, including the state Health Department and key lawmakers, argue that such large farms are a threat to public safety and the integrity of the network of licensed cannabis dispensaries.

Care Waialua, a medical marijuana (MMJ) farm that offers patients access to grow their own plants, has more than 1,000 MMJ cardholders signed up.

However, the farm’s critics say Hawaii’s licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries are threatened by large shared grow sites, which don’t abide by the same regulations as dispensaries, reported Daryl Huff for HawaiiNewsNow.

During a recent Senate hearing, Brian Goldstein, owner of Noa Botanicals dispensary, told senators that he had personally inspected Care Waialua.

“I can tell you I walked into this facility, signed a couple of pieces of paper, and was welcomed to purchase cannabis within about 15 minutes of arrival,” Goldstein said. “So this is not a cooperative. This is an unlicensed and unregulated dispensary.”

The farm is renting space to marijuana cardholders and caregivers, with each plant tagged to an individual owner.

The farm’s supporters admit that these shared sites may lure patients away from the dispensaries. And while lawmakers have stressed support for patients and caregivers to grow their own, they did not mean on the scale of Care Waialua.

According to a recent poll 86% of Hawaii residents think that marijuana should be legal. Recreational cannabis reform had even more support, 45%, than medical use-only, which is 41%. Bills to improve the medical marijuana system face additional hearings.

Photo by Peter Thomas on Unsplash

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