HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii has approved its first laboratory to begin testing samples of medical marijuana.
On Monday, the state Department of Health certified Honolulu-based lab Steep Hill Hawaii.
That brings Hawaii closer to the long-awaited date when dispensaries can sell their products.
Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana 17 years ago. But the state didn't legalize dispensaries until 2015. That left about 17,000 patients to grow or obtain the drug on their own.
Medical marijuana dispensaries began opening in Hawaii this summer. But they could not sell their products because there were no certified labs to conduct the required testing.
Dana Ciccone owns Steep Hill Hawaii. He says once the lab receives samples it will take about four days to test and return samples to dispensaries for sale.