Well-known Hawaii entrepreneur seeks medical marijuana dispensar - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Well-known Hawaii entrepreneur seeks medical marijuana dispensary license

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Michael Irish owns three successful companies -- Diamond Head Seafood, Keoki's Lau Lau and Halm's Enterprise.

And he believes 30 years in business qualify him to operate a medical cannabis dispensary.

"If they're looking at some people that have an understanding of how to take a product from the ground and bring it out to market, then maybe they'll consider us," he said.

Irish registered a company with Commerce and Consumer Affairs called Hawaiian Isles Marijuana. He is one of several people and groups planning to apply in January for one of the state's eight dispensary licenses.

"We want to bring it to the market at the best possible price, with the best possible quality and the best service," he said.

Onlookers have estimated it will cost $3 million to $5 million to open a dispensary in Hawaii. Irish has run the numbers and isn't startled by the startup cost.

Mitzi Vaughn, managing attorney with Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a group that assists mainland cannabis clients, said the marijuana industry is a complicated business.

"You have corporate structuring issues. You have finance issues. You have banking issues. You have security issues that you have to consider," she said.

Irish has been asked by others to partner up.  His answer is no.

"We're capable of doing everything in house," he said, adding if he lands a license he expects to lose money initially.

Irish said his interest in medicinal marijuana is largely personal. His mother died of cancer when he was 13. He wishes she had access to prescription pot.

"The drugs that were available were really powerful, but there was nothing that could just calm her," he said.

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