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Ep.339: Helen Cho

June 17, 2018

Helen Cho joins and and reminds us that Hawaii legalized cannabis in the year 2000 and it took seventeen years to open the first dispensaries. But two years ago, thanks in part to State Senator Will Espero, legislation passed, for said dispensaries to in fact open. There was a certain threshold of capital heft needed to attain one of those eight licenses. As a reminder the system is somewhat conservative. There is no wholesale market meaning that market participants cannot assist each other with supply and demand during shortages or overages. And in other news, the testing requirements are strict- which of course is an absolute positive. Regarding the consumer- Day 1 sounds like it was just like Colorado but unlike Colorado there were a few issues with the seed to sale technology which hadn’t been tested before that day.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Helen Cho Cho joins us and reminds us that Hawaiian legalized cannabis in the year 2000. It took 17 years to open the first dispensary, but two years ago, thanks in part to a state senator will aspero legislation passed for said dispensary's too. In fact, open, there was a certain threshold of capital heft needed to attain one of those eight licenses as a reminder of the system is somewhat conservative. There's no wholesale market, meaning that market participants cannot assist each other with supply and demand during shortages or overages. And in other news, the testing requirements are strict, which of course is an absolute positive welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social. What the handle can economy. That's two ends. And the word economy. Hellman Shell.

Speaker 1: No. When you see the wind blow with the palm trees and it gets old really fast. Well you, we, you know, I'm looking at the ocean and you were thinking, you know, Eh, it's the ocean. See it every day. I see it every day. So are you over? This is this. Is it time to move on over? It's okay. Alright, so you're not, so you still are appreciating Hawaii. Alright. So let's just get all of this out of the way, right? Because for three months we've been selling cannabis in Hawaii. Yes we have legally. Yes we have. So give us the background.

Speaker 3: I never big deal, uh, Hawaii legalized medical cannabis in 2000. It took 17 years for us to open the first dispensary's, um, until now people who had medical cards can grow their own plants and essentially it was um, legal protection right to, to have it on your body should you have ever been pulled over by the cops or anything like that. Hold on. For A and two years ago they passed legislation that said, hey, we should start having some dispensary's online. What's the process going to be? And there was an application process. There was a point system and I'm the highest points, the highest scoring applications for each of the islands are the ones that ended up getting the applicant are getting the license. And uh, I believe it was $50,000 just to apply. And part of the requirement was to prove that you had, I think one point $2 million in liquid assets, which shut the door on a lot of people in that space already, um, but lasts a couple of years ago. They, they opened the application process and there are now eight licenses across the state. Three on a while who chew on Maui to one big island on one uncle. Why there's three on Awahoo because Honolulu and Waikiki or on the island of Awahoo, um, and it also has 90 percent of the population.

Speaker 1: We've got an interesting system here in Hawaii. It, uh, and I spoke to a state senator, a sparrow about the fact that it's a, it's a closed fist and we're outside. So we're hearing some, uh, something, a closed fist as far as regulations, much more so than I would have thought I would. I would've thought it would've been much more lax or casual. But that's not the case.

Speaker 3: No, it's not a. We have one of the most rigorous testing requirements.

Speaker 1: Well, that I like. Yeah. Let's, let's talk about the, uh, you know, you do sell flour. We do, but you don't sell paraphernalia?

Speaker 3: Yes. Okay. So let's back up a little bit to sell. Right now we've got carried flower. We've only been open for three months and we are vertically integrated, which means we have to grow all the things that we sell a Chevy Colorado. Yes. But there is no wholesale market at all in Hawaii. We can't even sell amongst each other as dispensary's. So we are completely siloed and our supply is limited to how much we can grow for our own medicine. Um, so when we first started, we didn't, we didn't invest in a huge production facility. We actually used five. We remodeled or refurbished five shipping containers and we've been growing out of that. In the meantime, while we were growing out of the shipping containers, we were building out a huge greenhouse, was huge,

Speaker 1: pretty big ip that we're not sharing.

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