Mobile Network CEO Aims for Hawaii MMJ License

The head of a leading Hawaiian cell phone company is reportedly behind a group that plans to apply for one of the state’s medical marijuana licenses, adding a local heavy hitter to what is expected to be an extremely crowded field of competitors.

Bill Jarvis, president and CEO of Honolulu-based Mobi PCS, is involved with Pono Wellness, which hopes to win an MMJ business permit, according to KITV News.

Applying for a license and opening cultivation sites and dispensaries will run about $5 million, Pono’s project manager Greg Marinelli told KITV.

Jarvis, who claims Mobi has the nation’s biggest network footprint because of its partnerships, said that running a marijuana business is similar to running a cell phone business.

“In the retail distribution of cannabis you have to have your own retail stores, same thing in cellular then you have to weave all that together within in a framework of I.T. systems, billing platforms and the like,” Jarvis told KITV.

The application period opens Jan. 12 and runs through Jan. 29. Hawaii will award eight licenses for medical marijuana businesses on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Each licensee will be allowed two production centers and two retail stores. Three of the licenses will go to applicants in Oahu, where Honolulu is.

License winners are slated to be announced in mid-April, with dispensaries opening in July 2016 pending state approval.

One comment on “Mobile Network CEO Aims for Hawaii MMJ License
  1. Brett Roper on

    As the state of Hawaii’s last guidance still requires an indoor or hardened facility and assuming the applicant owns their facilities, the $5M price tag as noted will very likely not be sufficient to get across the finish line and to operating status (product in the dispensary) in consideration of the scope of the project, burn rates, capital improvement costs, permitting and construction, etc. Not sure that running a Cannabis business is all that similar to running a mobile phone business but the general business experience for a successful business person is certainly valuable to someone entering into this industry.

    I am not sure how an award of a license in mid April will result in dispensaries being open and having product 90 days later … starting a grow cycle generally consumes (from clone starts, with trim, dry, cure, and possibly processing) a minimum of 20 weeks. Even assuming a successful applicant has an existing building under lock and key, permitting and construction can easily consume several months on an optimistic basis.

    Generally speaking a quality indoor facility as well as manufacturing operation do not get thrown up ‘overnight’ and anyone that claims that they can be in full operations (including dispensary operations) within that time period from April to July should be suspect, especially with quality control and testing requirements that are sure to evolve.

    Good luck Bill!

    Reply

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