Kona Gold, one of the most notable cannabis strains from Hawai‘i, is making a legitimate return thanks to Maui Grown Therapies. MGT, Hawai‘i’s first state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary, is releasing Kona Gold as the first in a series of rare Hawaiʻi heirloom cannabis varietals that will soon be available to registered Hawai’i patients.
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, according to cannabis researcher Michael Backes.
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 1970s.
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.
“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 MGT 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 Backes, Kona Gold’s long flowering period, considerable height and detectability nearly drove it to extinction. “Thankfully the genetics have been preserved,” said 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.” Sales of Kona Gold to licensed Hawai’i medical patients began Thursday, September 6.
Drawing upon its vast genetic library, MGT also has plans to release two well-loved strains, Puna Butter and Maui Pre-’72 (also known as Maui Wowie) in its series of rare heritage varietals. These will be followed by cultivars from Congo, Nepal, Panama, Jamaica, and Burma.
MGT 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 Weil chairs the company’s Science & Medical Advisory Board and Backes is the company’s curriculum and training adviser. 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.
Photo courtesy of Maui Grown Therapies