By MARINA RIKER
HONOLULU (AP) - With nearly five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters.
Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15, but industry experts say they could be confronted with challenges unlike those in other states. They say rules banning inter-island transport and limiting the number of growers could cause marijuana shortages. Dispensaries will also be competing with a thriving underground market.
Hawaii lawmakers are looking to other states that allow residents to travel with marijuana for answers.
Under a 2015 law, Hawaii will grant eight licenses for marijuana businesses, which can each have two production centers and two dispensaries. The Hawaii Department of Health is license applications.