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Medical Cannabis Businesses In Hawaii Will Face Soaring Startup Costs


Hawaii is about to become the next state with a medical marijuana dispensary program. Cannabis entrepreneurs, however, won’t be in paradise.

The state of Hawaii is planing on building some very strict barriers for entrepreneurs entering the market. One of these requirements is that applicants have $1 million dollars in the bank. If that doesn’t push people away, the price of real estate will.

The largest city in Hawaii, Oahu, has the lowest vacancy rates in the nation for urban industrial properties. The lack of warehouse space makes for a hard time relocating or expanding. Cultivation sites and dispensaries may have to pay sky high prices for properties.

Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000 but never approved a distribution system. State lawmakers sent a bill on to the governor that establishes a regulatory system for the cultivation and sale of MMJ via up to 16 dispensaries across the Hawaiian islands.

In general, Hawaii could be one of the more expensive MMJ markets in the country to start a business in.

Applicants must pay a non-refundable $5,000 application fee. If approved, a dispensary license fee of $75,000 must be submitted to the state within seven days or the license goes to the next qualified applicant.

License winners then must pay $50,000 annually in renewal fees.

Overall startup costs would likely range from $3 million to $5 million, observers say.

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