By Wendy Osher
The US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development company will host a seminar on how to set up a medical marijuana dispensary, as well as discussion on risks and opportunities, on Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Marriott Resort Waikīkī Beach on Oʻahu.
The seminar comes following the passage of House Bill 321 in the state legislature, that legalizes medical marijuana dispensary systems in Hawaiʻi, including two in Maui County. The bill still awaits the governor’s signature, veto, or passage without his signature.
The bill allows for eight dispensary licensees in the state: three on Oʻahu, two on the Big Island, two in Maui County, and one on Kauaʻi.
Under the bill, licensees may begin dispensing marijuana and manufactured marijuana products on July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department of Health. The Department is also tasked with accepting applications for dispensary licenses from Jan. 12, 2016, to Jan. 29, 2016, and announcing licensees by April 15, 2016.
Also under the bill, licensed applicants must pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee, an additional $75,000 fee for each license approved, and a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
House Speaker Joe Souki of Maui who co-introduced the bill has said that while the legislature made medical marijuana use legal in 2000, the law remained silent for 15 years on how patients could obtain the product if they or their caregivers were unable to grow their own supply.
US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC works to distribute and produce medical-grade cannabis in states where it is legal.
Company chief executive officer Michael Patterson noted that there are many legal, regulatory, and tax issues as well as start-up costs associated with opening a dispensary. In a press release statement he said, “Our seminar will provide attendees with detailed information on the risks and opportunities involved with this industry, the necessary steps needed to be taken in order to be successful and compliant, and what to expect if they decide to open a dispensary.”
The cost of the seminar is $300 per attendee for those who register before June 6, 2015 and $350 thereafter. Interested individuals can register by visiting the US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development website.
There are an estimated 13,000 qualifying patients throughout the state who have medical marijuana identification cards.
Michael Visher, president of US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and co-founder of Green Man Cannabis, a marijuana dispensary company in Colorado commented in a press release saying, “Due to the regulatory nature of this industry, it is important to understand that simple services such as janitorial, plumbing, and any ancillary service that your business needs to run, requires that all employees be registered with the State if they are entering any marijuana establishment.”
He continued saying, “Our seminar will outline the opportunities for business professionals and non-business professionals who want to consider the possibility of generating substantial revenue, and in some cases, do it without getting into the business of growing or distributing medical marijuana.”
The seminar will cover a variety of aspects involved in opening a dispensary including: licensure, legal, accounting, taxes, banking, staffing, plant production, operational protocol and procedures, profitability and liability, and what’s involved in applying for a dispensary license in Hawaiʻi.”