How to open a Dispensary in Hawaii

The first round of the license application process to start a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii opened in 2015 and closed a year later. As of now, there is no word as to when the application window will open again.

During the first round, all eight of the available licenses were issued and, currently, all of the activities regarding the state’s medical cannabis program are controlled by the local Department of Health.

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    Hawaii was the first state to pass medical cannabis by legislation in 2000. 16 years later, a law improved upon various parts of the program, such as allowing registered nurses with prescriptive authority to write recommendations, the university to do cannabis research, and tax guidance to be done.

    When was cannabis made legal
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    Under regulations enacted as of July 14th, 2015, Hawaii opened its doors for medical marijuana businesses. However, applications for would-be entrepreneurs were closed on January 29th, 2016 with no word on when they will accept new applications.

    The regulations of this measure have provisions for medical marijuana dispensaries, medical marijuana growers and medical marijuana processors

    How many dispensaries are there in the state

    Currently, 8 marijuana dispensaries are operating in Hawaii out of the 8 that were initially allowed. The application period is now closed.

    How much money is there in the dispensary market

    The medical marijuana industry in Hawaii is not to be taken lightly. Sales of medical marijuana in 2016 reached $34,300,000, and profits are expected to rise to $135,700,000 by 2021.

    License & Financial requirements

    The Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program is the statewide regulatory authority implementing safe and legal access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients. The Hawaii Department of Health is responsible for the applications and public safety regarding the state’s marijuana program.

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    Their oversight authority includes statewide monitoring of the laboratories that test the safety and quality of the cannabis and manufactured cannabis products, and on-site inspections and monitoring of licensed dispensaries that grow, manufacture, and sell medical cannabis products to qualifying patients.

    Financial requirements

    All interested applicants must be residents of the state at least 5 years prior the date of application & at least 51% of the entity must be owned by legal Hawaiians.

    Of course, there are some fees associated with the opening of a marijuana dispensary in Hawaii. You can find all of them in the list below:

    • Dispensary License Initial Fee: $75,000
    • Dispensary License Renewal Fee: $50,000
    • Testing Laboratory Certification Fee: $3,000
    • Testing Laboratory Certification Renewal Fee: $3,000

    How much does a marijuana dispensary in Hawaii make?

    Marijuana dispensaries and delivery can easily make $50,000 a year, and some make millions. Estimates for Hawaii suggests that dispensaries in this state will easily make that average or greater.


    Starting a business takes time, even those that aren’t marijuana related. New business owners should allow at least a year. However, since Hawaii is not currently accepting any new applications, and aren’t providing information on when they will again, there’s no telling how long it could take here.

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    Looking to start a marijuana dispensary in Hawaii? The consulting companies listed below can help you stay abreast of state licensing requirements so that you know when you can.

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