Hawai’i DOH Approves New Medical Cannabis Dispensary on Maui

Hawai’i Department of Health announced approval of a third medical cannabis retail dispensary for PONO LIFE MAUI after it passed a final on-site inspection for its third retail facility. PONO LIFE MAUI’s new retail location is in Paia, Maui at 149 Hana Highway Unit #2, Paia, and expects to begin sales on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

“PONO LIFE MAUI’s new dispensary will provide much needed access to patients on Maui,” said Liam Gimon, DOH Medical Cannabis License Program Section supervisor.

As of October 31, 2022, a statewide total of 33,540 in-state patients, and 2,781 caregivers were registered statewide.


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Recently Re-Elected State Representative Adrian Tam says time to end discrimination in Hawai'i
Recently Re-Elected State Representative Adrian Tam says time to end discrimination in Hawai’i

In February 2019, Hawaiian Electric (HECO) fired me from my non-safety-sensitive position due to my active medical cannabis prescription. I was badly injured. Medicated only at night prior to bed to reduce my pain so I could sleep. My supervisor, Lori Yafuso, rated me highly

YOU have been a great asset to our team and it is your personality and humble nature that makes all of us so comfortable working together. We have had contractors on the DBA team before, but never with the synergy and positive energy that you bring with you. I believe you have had the greatest influence in our success and glad that we selected the right contractor. You have definitely made your mark here at HECO and have set the bar very high for future contractors!

Thank you for being you…keep doing what you do…keep that good karma flowing!

HECO offered me a permanent position due to my exemplary performance. They required a pre-employment drug screen (although I had been working for the company for over six months). I notified my HR rep Elizabeth “Liz” Dear of my injuries, disability and medication use, and asked if there would be a problem.

Ms. Dear didn’t warn me of a company prohibition; didn’t tell me to speak with anyone else; and didn’t provide me the company policy that by their own rules must be “made available” to me. Liz told me I would “be fine.”

Their HR director at the time, Shana M. Buco, didn’t warn me of a corporate prohibition. The company keeps this information secret from employees. Thao Tran, Susan Li, and CEO Constance Hee Lau didn’t make available their policy to me.

CEO Connie Lau, Thao Tran, Shana Buco, Liann Ebesugawa, and Susan Li: Cruel Human Beings
CEO Connie Lau, Thao Tran, Shana Buco, Liann Ebesugawa, and Susan Li: Cruel Human Beings

Liann Ebesugawa is the volunteer commission chair of the Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission (HCRC). She is paid by Hawaiian Electric and the HCRC has buried my complaint of discrimination for over three years now. They refuse to allow my termination to be investigated.

Hawai’i is dominated by Asian Americans. In general, they are hard-working, proficient, smart and extremely kind and compassionate. Their culture has been inspirational to me. However, these ladies are the most cruel people I have encountered in my life.

I was badly injured; suffered deep, debilitating pain. I asked to be sure my medication was permissible. These ladies fucked up. Rather than apologize, correct the mistake and work it out in aloha fashion, I believe they have done their best to ensure I never work in Hawai’i again.

This post serves as a WARNING to the nearly 35,000+ medical patients and Veterans in Hawai’i and around the nation. There remains entrenched discrimination toward medical cannabis patients.

Asian Americans, in particular, are socially conservative. They accept use of opioid medications. They tolerate drinking of alcohol, smoking tobacco, vaping nicotine and use of 1,000s of BigPhRMA drugs. Use medical cannabis, they will fire you and treat you like a criminal.

Even today, I must hide my name and face due to the harassment and continued discrimination I suffer in this aloha state of Paradise.

Hawai‘i ‘s other licensed retail centers include:

Hawai‘i Island

Big Island Grown locations at:

  • 750 Kanoelehua Ave., Suite 104 in Hilo
  • 64-1040 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Kamuela
  • 74-5617 Pawai Pl. in Kailua-Kona

Hawaiian Ethos locations at:

  • 73-5613 Olowalu St., Suite 7 in Kailua-Kona
  • 64-1035 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Kamuela
  • 578 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo


Green Aloha located at:

  • 4-1565 Kuhio Hwy. in Kapa‘a
  • 2827 Poipu Rd. in Koloa


Maui Grown Therapies locations at:

  • 44 Pa‘a St., in Kahului
  • 1087 Limahana Pl., Unit 4B in Lahaina
  • 7 Aewa Pl., Unit 3 in Pukalani

Pono Life Sciences located at:

  • 415 Dairy Rd. in Kahului
  • 115 N Market St. in Wailuku
  • 149 Hana Hwy. in Paia


Aloha Green Apothecary locations at:

  • 1314 South King St. (Interstate Building) in Honolulu
  • 2113 Kalakaua Ave. in Honolulu
  • 3131 North Nimitz Hwy. in Honolulu

Cure Oahu located at:

  • 727 Kapahulu Ave. in Honolulu
  • 4850 Kapolei Parkway in Kapolei

Noa Botanicals locations at:

  • 1308 Young St. in Honolulu
  • 46-028 Kawa St. in Kaneohe
  • 98-302 Kamehameha Hwy. in Aiea

Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15-consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30-consecutive day period. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.

All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in any moving vehicle, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks.

More information on the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabis/.

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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

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