In the Mix

Cannabis Expo offers learning opportunities

January 15th, 2016

No matter your personal views on the consumption of marijuana in Hawaii, medical dispensaries are on the way to our shores more than 15 years after former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano passed Act 228.

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2016 HAWAII CANNABIS EXPO

» Where: Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, 777 Ward Ave.

» When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 30 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 31

» Cost: $10

» Info: www.hawaiicannabisexpo.com

Last year, the Hawaii State Legislature passed Senate Bill 321, which allows for the establishment of a legal distribution system of medical marijuana. A number of groups — with various controlling interests — have lined up for a shot at one of just three licenses available on Oahu.

The stakes are high, with these groups required to pay a $5,000 application fee along with a $75,000 license fee if selected. They also have to show proof of having $1 million cash readily available in a bank account, plus another $100,000 per dispensary they’re licensed to open.

But on the flip side, the number of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii could easily double once a safe, reliable supply of medicine is made available. Other types of businesses will be able to cash in on an industry that’s booming in other places where marijuana is legal.

With so many questions surrounding the issue, this month’s 2016 Hawaii Cannabis Expo should be a valuable experience for those at all levels on the medical marijuana spectrum.

“What we've done with The Hawaii Cannabis Expo is get some of the leading local and national experts together in one space so patients and potential patients can get their questioned answered,” event organizer Kyle Paredes said in a statement. “If you want to learn anything and everything about cannabis, from health benefits to home-growing and regulations, you can get it at this event.”

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 30 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 31, local residents will be able to learn more on subjects ranging from how to acquire a medical marijuana card from the state, the different ways of consuming medical marijuana and how to effectively grow the plant for personal consumption. Special guests expected to attend include well-known grower and author Ed Rosenthal; the Hydroponic Society of America’s Dan Lubkeman; Dani Green Fox, Miss High Times 2015; and Wendy Gibson, field organizer for the Drug Policy Forum and the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii.

“The challenge is that there are more questions than answers when it comes to how to become a medical cannabis patient in Hawaii and how to safely access cannabis as medicine,” said Gibson. “We welcome this opportunity to share.”

Along with seminars and presentations, paid classes and a trade show will be part of this year’s expo. A food court will also be open at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall with a variety of dining options available.

Admission to the two-day expo is $10 per day; those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult. Visit www.hawaiicannabisexpo.com for more information.

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Jason Genegabus has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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