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(Jefferson City) — The Missouri Legislature has passed changes to the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

The FBI informed the state health department, which licenses and regulates the medical marijuana industry, that the department will not have access to its national fingerprint background check database. Representative Lane Roberts, R-Joplin, says his legislation would clear up that problem.

“Because the department is not a law enforcement agency, the Bureau declines to share that information with them without legislative authority. This bill provides that authority,” says Roberts.

The bill would require Department of Health and Senior Services employees associated with licensing medical marijuana businesses to submit their fingerprints for criminal background checks. Representative Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie, says the department could also require fingerprints from medical marijuana business employees as part of the licensing or certification process.

“So what we need to do here is pass this piece of legislation so that we can get the correct background checks done to keep our industry that we have now clean, so that we can not only hire the correct employees, but to make sure that we have the correct employees handling this product,” says Hicks.

The bill, which is headed to the governor, would also ban medical marijuana edibles that are designed, produced or marketed to appeal to people under 18 years old, including candies, gummies, lollipops, cotton candy, or products in the shape of a human, animal or fruit.

Later this year, Missouri patients could start buying medical marijuana products.

The legislation is House Bill 1896.

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