The star of The Hunger Games and Cheers might be growing and selling “an eighth” of Hawaii’s cannabis in the near future. Not surprisingly, Woody Harrelson wants to be one of the first people in the state of Hawaii to open a cannabis collective. Harrelson is one of the over 60 applicants to apply for eight coveted licenses to grow and sell cannabis in Hawaii. Unlike many of the other applicants, Harrelson has been battling cannabis prohibition for years. Harrelson could soon become one of the first to legally grow and sell cannabis in Hawaii on a commercial scale.
Harrelson officially joined NORML over a dozen years ago in 2003, and his name is almost synonymous with eco-conscious advocacy. In 1996, the year California legalized medical cannabis, Harrelson and others scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the deforestation of the redwood forest in Humboldt County. “I shamelessly and proudly call myself a tree hugger,” he told the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, in Kentucky, he was acquitted of charges after planting hemp seeds in protest.
Friday, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) released a list of 66 potential collective owners. “All other information on dispensary applications is confidential as we move into the evaluation and selection process,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance.
Harrelson plans to operate under his company’s name, Simple Organic Living.
After April 15, 2016, only eight lucky applicants will be awarded licenses to open up to two brick-and-mortar locations and two production centers. According to the Associated Press, six dispensaries will be on Oahu, four on Hawaii, four on Maui and two on Kauai. Each county in Hawaii will have an enterprise zone, and collective owners may be eligible for tax breaks.
Applicants must fork over $1 million in cash before being considered. They must also pay $100,000 per dispensary location, and be a resident for at least five years. Other applicants include Richard Ha, Dirk Fukushima, Eugene Tiwanak, Charles Kawakami and Henk Rogers. Rogers was the driving force behind the video game Tetris.
Of all the candidates for licenses in Hawaii, Harrelson is probably the one that is least likely to be doing this for financial gain. Collectives are scheduled to open in July.