Cannabis plants grow in the backyard of a Hawaii medical marijuana cardholder in Honolulu in February 2016. (Marina Riker, Associated Press file)

Hawaii medical marijuana dispensaries ready to sell — there’s just one hangup

HONOLULU — Hawaii medical marijuana dispensaries still have yet to make a single sale more than a year after the state awarded its first eight dispensary licenses.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday the dispensaries cannot sell the drug until the state Health Department certifies laboratories to test the quality of the marijuana.

Helen Cho, the director of integrated strategy for Aloha Green Holdings Inc., says Aloha Green has marijuana stored and ready to sell.

Aloha Green, Maui Grown and Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC all have marijuana ready to sell. A fourth company, Manoa Botanicals LLC, is growing pot but hasn’t harvested it yet.

Health Department officials say they are working to make sure the dispensaries are safe and secure. They expect the first dispensary to open this summer.