Mobile Network CEO Aims for Hawaii MMJ License

The head of a leading Hawaiian cellphone 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 cellphone 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.