Hawaii’s marijuana dispensary program continues to advance.
The Hawaii Department of Health has selected the five panel members that will serve to decide who will be awarded medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Hawaii.
According to the director of the Hawaii Health Department. It is “critical that the selection process be as fair and objective as possible and free from improper outside influence.” She went on to say, “It is equally important that the process be as transparent as possible without compromising its integrity
The five selected panel members are:
- David Bess, a professor of management and transportation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
- James E. Duffy, Jr., a retired Hawaii State Supreme Court associate justice.
- John Fisher III, the scientific director of North Carolina based Keystone Laboratories and a lab inspector for the College of American Pathologists.
- Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, the deputy to the chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.
- Keith R. Ridley, chief of the state Health Department’s Office of Health Care Assurance.
The five selected panelists will review and score each applicants application, with the eight highest scores being awarded a license.
Hawaii state Health officials say each panel member was screened for any potential conflicts with dispensary license applicants. The panel members have also been instructed to refrain from discussing the applicants or the selection process with each other or anyone else during the selection process.
The panel is expected to decide by April 15 which of the 66 applicants will be awarded a Hawaii medical marijuana dispensary license.
Hawaii’s dispensary applicants have been warned that they cannot contact the panelists or attempt to discuss the process in any way or they will be disqualified.
Hawaii has seen as much as a 16% increase in its medical marijuana patient numbers over the past year, an increase which may be attributed to the incoming medical marijuana dispensaries as well as the states new and faster online registration process. With the increase in Hawaii’s patient population and the strong possibility of meeting its April 15th dispensary selection deadline, Hawaii appears to making strong headway in it medical marijuana program.