What you should know about medical marijuana in Missouri: How to get a card, what are the qualifiers and more.
Missouri marijuana authorities said they issued five new medical marijuana infused product manufacturing licenses on Friday. The licenses are required for a Missouri business to legally make processed medical weed products like edibles or vaping cartridges.
It’s a move the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said is not intended to fend off lawsuits from would-be weed companies, but to ensure that the minimum number of marijuana manufacturing licenses called for by the state constitution — 86 — is “actually in use.”
The reason? In January, the state awarded duplicate manufacturing licenses, authorities said.
Some applicants for infused product manufacturing licenses “submitted duplicative applications for licensure,” the state health department said in a Friday news release.
Two proposed manufacturing facilities in the St. Louis area and one location southeast of Kansas City each applied for two or more licenses covering a single proposed location.
To be sure, state authorities pointed out, it was legal for applicants to have submitted these “duplicative” applications.
However, they said, “one facility can only utilize one license.”
Therefore, the state health department “merged the redundant licenses” for those three facilities, then issued five new licenses to the companies next in line on the “conditionally denied” list of applicants.
That list is ranked by how well companies scored during the state’s controversial license application process, which attracted pointed accusations of conflicts of interest and other issues from Missouri lawmakers, members of the grass-roots cannabis community, and marijuana business interests.
The merged manufacturing licenses apply to the following companies:
- Verano MO, LLC, 5401 W. 3rd St., St. Louis
- Teal Labs, LLC, 5555 Salt River Rd., St. Peters
- Grassroots OpCo MO, LLC, 186 NE Highway 52, Clinton
The five new manufacturing licenses were awarded for the following locations:
- MidAmeriCanna, LLC, 2849 Union Blvd, St. Louis
- Nature’s Med MO, LLC, 3615 Tree Court Industrial Blvd, St. Louis
- ROI Labs of Atherton, LLC, 4610 N. Main St., Independence
- Missouri Made Marijuana, LLC, 301 S. Outer Belt Road E., Grain Valley
- Kings Garden Midwest, LLC, 3300 Pleasant Pl., Trenton
State health department spokesperson Lisa Cox told the News-Leader Friday morning that state authorities checked marijuana business license applications before awarding the licenses in December and January. (Around 2,200 applications from hundreds of companies competed for just 348 commercial marijuana business licenses, which allow Missouri companies to legally operate growing operations, dispensaries, testing labs and manufacturing outfits.)
“Many licensees share the same address; this is expected and not prohibited,” Cox said in an email. “During the application period, location was examined for whether it met applicable minimum standards for licensure, such as distance from churches, schools, and daycares.”
In a news release, Lyndall Fraker, a former Marshfield-area lawmaker now serving as director of the state medical marijuana program, said, “Our team is working hard to verify that each licensee is in compliance with the constitutional standards for licensure and that each facility implements what they proposed in their application.”
Fraker added, “Our thorough verification process is in place so that we can maintain the kind of medical program that Missourians voted for — one that is safe and well-regulated.”
At least 20 Ozarks-based applicants for infused product manufacturing licenses were denied, the News-Leader reported in January. None appeared to be among the new licensees announced on Friday. (Two manufacturers with licenses announced six months ago are based in Springfield: Revival 98 and Happy Days LLC.)
While no lawful cannabis dispensaries are yet open for retail sales, Missouri recently finished “commencement” inspections for three marijuana businesses, including at least one commercial growing operation, according to state health department data and previous News-Leader reporting.
More than 60,000 patients and caregivers (those who want to provide medical marijuana to individual patients) have applied for qualifying state ID cards to date, according to Missouri health department data.
Gregory Holman is the investigative reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and consider supporting vital local journalism by subscribing. Learn more by visiting News-Leader.com/subscribe.
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