Marijuana dispensaries could bring huge benefits to state

Published: Jun. 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - Medical marijuana advocates say dispensaries in Hawaii could contribute 800 jobs and $65 million a year in sales.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports House Bill 321 calls for 16 dispensaries to open in Hawaii starting July 2016. The legislation is currently awaiting Gov. David Ige's approval.

About 13,000 state residents are registered to use medical marijuana. Under current law, they have to grow their own pot or buy it illegally.

Executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association Nate Bradley says Hawaii's total marijuana sales could reach $65 million annually with more patients getting medical marijuana cards.

To open a dispensary, residents must follow certain guidelines and prove they have $1.2 million to invest in the business.

Under the legislation, additional dispensary licenses could be issued starting October 2017.

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