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JOPLIN, Mo. — More than 43,000 Missouri patients have been approved to use medical marijuana.

But those dispensaries will be opening later than they hoped, on a date that’s still not clear.

It will be months before the state allows any medical marijuana dispensary to open.

Gil Stevens, Joplin Realtor, said, “I think it’s pretty much up in the air right now – but they are going to need a place to dispense and I just don’t know when that will be.”

Realtor Gil Stevens is working with a buyer who wants to open at 15th and Range Line.

A commercial zoning change is needed, but for now those meetings are on hold.

I think the city is going to try to do everything they can to expedite this, not just for this but any zoning request because of what the process is.”

The earliest possible date to open – statewide – is still months away.

Lisa Cox with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said, “While it is difficult to speculate when facilities might be ready to begin operating and then have product on shelves, we’re anticipating this summer—August perhaps.”

Patients had hoped medical marijuana would be available by now.

But Stevens points out that even those with a license to operate and an approved facility need to find a grower to provide marijuana – a concern since he says some covid-19 restrictions are causing some delays in growing.

And he looks forward to the official word from the state that sales can begin.

“I don’t think the state really knows, or has mandated when this is going to happen,” said Stevens.

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