Hawaii growers ready to go Feb. 1

The Hawaii Department of Health’s seed-to-sale tracking software is scheduled to go online Feb. 1, which means licensed medical dispensaries finally can begin growing cannabis after a long delay.

Although Hawaii legalized dispensaries in 2015, the state’s program had been delayed while the DOH worked to link its tracking system with the software used by the eight companies approved to grow and sell medical pot, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

Health regulators awarded a total of eight licenses to dispensary operators last April and gave them the green light to open their doors in July. Some had hoped to open by the end of last year.

Regulators have been criticized for the lag in cultivation.

Despite the setback, Keith Ridley, chief of the DOH’s Office of Health Care Assurance, told reporter Anita Hofschneider that he expects dispensaries to open this year. Hawaii awarded the seed-to-sale software contract to BioTrackTHC in November, and growers have been waiting since then for the software to go online.