LAURIE, Mo. — Tracey Smith’s family has a medical marijuana cultivation facility ready to go in Laurie, Missouri.
They didn’t get a state license.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Tracey Smith.
The Smith family, and others who were denied a license, are asking a judge to change things for companies that did.
“It’s not just representing the plaintiffs, it’s actually represents the State of Missouri,” Smith said.
Under a temporary restraining order, the Missouri Department of Senior Services would no longer be allowed to let businesses sell, transfer, or change anything about their licenses. That’s something they currently can do.
“These guys are playing cards – literally – back and forth with these licensees,” Smith said. “Basically people are selling their license, or transferring it. I mean, we don’t know who those people are. They never applied.”
The restraining order singles out Dr. Randall Williams, the director of the DHSS, saying his personal political opinion on marijuana led him to only award the required minimum licenses.
The amendment passed by voters in November 2018 called for a minimum of 60.
Because of that, Smith said people who need medical marijuana ultimately lose out.
“Make it a free market,” Smith said. “Quite frankly, you get better products, lower prices, much better accessibility to the medical patient.”
KY3/KSPR’s Andrew Havranek asked Dr. Williams about the temporary restraining order during Wednesday’s COVID-19 news conference.
“I have not seen it. So, I don’t like to comment on things I haven’t seen,” Williams said.
Lyndall Fraker, who is also named in the temporary restraining order is the head of Missouri’s medical marijuana program.
“The medical marijuana program rules have always allowed licensees to make certain limited changes, including to [sic] ownership and location, with approval,” Fraker said in a text message to Havranek . “Of course, the program will make sure that what is implemented brings Missourians and Missouri patients the same benefits as original proposals. I really can’t comment on litigation, though, so I’ll have to refer you to the AG [Attorney General] for that.”
“We’re not trying to hinder the program,” Smith said. “Let it move forward, but, in the meantime, don’t allow these clowns to keep changing and manipulating and doing whatever they’re doing behind everybody’s back.”
Smith says he expects the judge to make a decision on that temporary restraining order in the coming days.