The last state to join the U.S., Hawaii, has been a hotbed for activity in the cannabis space. With an estimated population of 1.429 million people, Hawaii has roughly double the market size of Alaska. While Alaskans have had legal weed for far longer than Hawaiians, medical marijuana has been decriminalized in Hawaii since 2000. In this groundbreaking bill, Hawaii "became the first state to use legislation to approve the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes."
Related: Congresswoman Gabbard Wants Marijuana Laws to Change
It might seem crazy, but the state just recently got dispensaries opened up. It was just last April that the Hawaii State Department of Health announced the eight recipients of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary licenses. Although these licenses were awarded back in 2016, as recently as January the state was still awaiting marijuana testing labs before the dispensaries could open their doors.
Related: Hawaii Needs Testing Labs for Dispensaries to Open
Fast forward to today, and a few dispensaries are up and running. In fact, one of them already had to close temporarily because it ran out of weed to sell! With namesake strains like Maui Waui, it's clear that Hawaii and cannabis go hand in hand. So for those who want to capitalize on the growth in this archipelago's marijuana industry - where do you look for opportunities?
Related: Two Dispensaries Open in Hawaii, More to Follow
One ancillary marijuana stock, Kush Bottles, Inc. (OTC:KSHB), expanded its distribution in the third quarter of 2017 when they partnered up to start selling their products across Hawaii. Sure, this may initially seem like a small move - but it's not. Since the islands are so far removed geographically from the rest of the Untied States, having an in-state distributor is key to getting market share early on. Since the dispensaries just opened up weeks ago, Kush Bottles timed this perfectly.
Related: Kush Bottles Q3'17 Update
If you think that the Hawaiian market is limited to the residents that are registered as medical marijuana patients, that will be incorrect starting in January of 2018. Once this new initiative starts, "patients from the mainland must simply register with the state." Since Hawaii is a top vacation destination for people from all over the United States (and world), it wouldn't be surprising if this medical marijuana reciprocity brought even more visitors from other legal states like Colorado and Washington.
Related: SLIDESHOW - All of the States with Legal Weed
Another cannabis company with revenues coming from Hawaii is Medicine Man Technologies Inc. (OTC:MDCL). Medicine Man consults a handful of dispensary clients in Hawaii which "depending upon their cultivation capabilities," can be expected to generate millions in profits.
Related: The State of Marijuana in Hawaii
One final company to keep an eye out for is Manoa Botanicals LLC. Manoa Botanicals is one of the 8 license holders in Hawaii, giving it an oligopolistic hold on the Hawaiian medical marijuana market. Back in December of 2016, Manoa completed a second round of financing which brought the total amount raised for the company to $10.9 million. Given how similar this license holder is to Chestnut Hill Tree Farm LLC in Florida, we wouldn't be surprised if it garnered some acquisition attention from well capitalized public companies to the north. Following the investment and agreement with Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) (OTC:APHQF), Chestnut is now the portfolio cornerstone of Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (CSE:LHS).
Related: Aphria Invests in Florida Cultivator
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