Maui Business

Maui Grown Therapies Announces Release of Kona Gold

September 5, 2018, 11:52 AM HST
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Maui Grown Therapies today announced the release of the Hawaiʻi heirloom cultivar, Kona Gold, as the first in a series of rare cannabis varietals the company plans to make available to registered Hawai’i patients in the coming months.

Sales of Kona Gold will commence on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

Kona Gold live plant. Photos courtesy of Maui Grown Therapies.

“Maui Grown Therapies is committed to preserving and perpetuating Hawaiʻi heirloom cannabis varieties because these cultivars, such as Kona Gold, provide a much clearer, uplifting experience than most cannabis products currently available,” said Maui Grown Therapies’ Chief Science Officer, Andrew Weil, MD. “This variety has always been prized for its mood elevation, focus, insight and analgesic potential and will appeal to patients seeking pain relief with less sedation.”

According to cannabis researcher Michael Backes, during the 1960’s, tropical varieties of narrow-leafleted cannabis plants were brought to Hawai’i from the Cardamom Hills of Kerala in south India, the highlands of Thailand and Cambodia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia and the coastal ranges of Oaxaca in Mexico.

Their offspring thrived in Hawaiʻi’s sunny climate and rich volcanic soil. One of the most successful of these underground breeding experiments resulted in Kona Gold, which came from the Kailua-Kona coast of the Big Island in the early 1970’s.


The new cultivar soon developed a reputation as an energetic and euphoric “insight drug,” making it one of the most sought-after cannabis varieties in Hawai’i and overseas. As a “Type I” cultivar, Kona Gold is THC-dominant with a pure uplifting sativa-type profile.


“Kona Gold’s long flowering period, considerable height and detectability nearly drove it to extinction, but thankfully the genetics have been preserved,” explained Backes. “Its distinctive tropical aroma, reminiscent of coconut, island fruits and fresh flowers, is a hallmark of the classic Hawaiʻi heirlooms, so this is the real deal.”

Drawing upon its vast genetic library, Maui Grown Therapies also has plans to release Puna Butter and Maui pre-’72 (also known as Maui Wowie) in its series of rare varietals. These will be followed by cultivars from Congo, Nepal, Panama, Jamaica and Burma.

Maui Grown Therapies cultivates its cannabis plants “off-the-grid” with the power of the sun at its seven-acre production site in Upcountry Maui. Using custom blended organic soil and recycled purified water, the company is committed to environmentally friendly farming practices and is proud of its contribution to sustainable agriculture on Maui.


Chief Science Officer Andrew Weil, MD chairs the company’s Science & Medical Advisory Board (SMA) and Michael Backes is the company’s curriculum and training advisor. Composed of physicians, researchers, and agriculturists, the SMA continuously review the latest research about medicinal cannabis and advises Maui Grown Therapies on product mix and formulations for Hawaiʻi’s qualifying conditions.

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