July 15, 2015 / by Jim Mendoza / Hawaii News Now

The holder of a license for a medical marijuana dispensary operation will employ managers, workers who grow the weed, and others who produce the finished product.

"We have what is called a vertically integrated ownership system," attorney Stephen Pingree said.

Pingree's website advertises him as Hawaii's Marijuana Business Lawyer.  He estimates each dispensary will employ up to 40 people. With up to 16 dispensaries opening statewide in July 2016, that could mean well over 600 jobs.

"There's a lot of companies that have expertise in growing marijuana, dispensaries, and making products, from the mainland that want to come over here and be involved with an applicant here in Hawaii," Pingree said.

Operations need at least 51 percent local ownership.  Next year Hawaii's Department of Health will grant 8 licenses.  Pingree estimates a licensee will spend $3 million to $5 million for startup, but that will be offset by a good return on investment in the first year or two.

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