Actor Woody Harrelson's application to open pot business in Hawaii fails

Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:39pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson's bid to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii was rejected on Friday, as the state approved eight of more than 60 applicants, officials said.

Harrelson, who is best known for his roles in the film "White Men Can't Jump" and 1980s sitcom "Cheers," had applied for a license on behalf of his company Simple Organic Living LLC.

The actor, who for more than a decade has spoken in favor of pot and is on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, made national headlines earlier this year when his application became public.

The Hawaii Department of Health on Friday released a list of approved applicants, with three in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, two on the Big Island, two on Maui and one on Kauai.

Harrelson's business was not on the approved list, and a statement from the department did not specifically say why the actor's application was denied.

The Hawaii legislature last year approved the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries. More than 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana and four of those states also allow recreational pot use, but the drug is banned under federal law.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Cast member Woody Harrelson poses at the premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" in Los Angeles, California November 16, 2015. The movie opens in the U.S. on November 20.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni