Woody Harrelson Wants To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Hawaii

By McCarton Ackerman 02/09/16

The True Detective star could soon be the latest celebrity to profit off the legal pot industry.

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Woody Harrelson Wants To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Hawaii
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Woody Harrelson has applied to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii, which would be one of the first in the island state.

Harrelson’s application was one of 66 that the Hawaii Department of Health posted on their website last Friday. The 54-year-old applied for the license in Honolulu County under his company, Simple Organic Living. Hawaii will award eight licenses for marijuana business owners in April and the dispensaries can officially open in July. Each business can have two production centers and two retail dispensaries, which will allow for 16 dispensaries across the state. Six of them will be held on the island of Oahu, in addition to four on Maui, four on Hawaii Island and two on Kauai.

Under the requirements, applicants must currently have $1 million in cash before formally applying for a license, in addition to $100,000 in cash for each dispensary location. They must have also been residents of Hawaii for at least five years. Harrelson owns a home in the town of Huelo on Maui’s north shore, where he lives with his wife and three daughters. Fittingly, Willie Nelson owns a home and restaurant in the neighboring town of Paia.

Harrelson hasn’t commented on his application, but has long been an activist for marijuana legalization. He told 420 magazine in 2005 that “I do smoke, but I don’t go through all this trouble just because I want to make my drug of choice legal. It’s about personal freedom. We should have the right in this country to do what we want, if we don’t hurt anybody.” He added that “72 million people in this country have smoked pot. Eighteen to 20 million in the last year. These people should not be treated as criminals.”

In June 1996, Harrelson was arrested and charged with drug possession after planting four marijuana seeds as a protest gesture on land he bought in Boonesville, Kentucky. He testified in court that October that he did so because he saw “an important crop issue for farmers. One hundred and fifty years ago hemp was the leading cash crop in Kentucky, and in my mind I don't see any reason why that can't be the case again." He faced a potential three-month jail sentence for the misdemeanor charge, but it was eventually dropped.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.