Missouri Application Process For Cannabis Businesses Begins!
Missouri patients can finally register their medical marijuana certifications from their Green Health Docs physicians. But how long will it take for the rest of the cannabis industry to catch up and open their doors? Well, the Show Me State took one step closer this week as it was announced that the Missouri application process for cannabis businesses has begun. We break down what to expect from this process.
Cannabis Businesses: How To Apply
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services launched the official application process for cannabis businesses. Cannabis insiders can now apply for their license to own and operate a medical cannabis business — be it a cultivator, dispensary, testing agent or cannabis processor. View the forms and apply here. Missouri DHSS also released an informational video that walks applicants through the process. View it here or below.
According the MDHSS website, the department “has systems in place to begin accepting applications for medical marijuana facilities beginning 12:00 a.m. on Aug. 3 until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 17. All applications will be filled out directly on the secure, online registry.”
Scoring the Applications
Once a business applies for a license online, they are scored. This is based on a variety of factors including business plan, location, finances and more. After blind scoring, the applications are ranked and chosen based on the best scores. From there, the businesses can begin the process of building out their facilities and hiring employees.
“Early on as we began our research, our team got together to discuss the various ways we could award licenses, and we all agreed that a blind scoring system using a third-party vendor would be the fairest way to grant licenses to applicants,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation in a release. “Since applicants will be scored solely on the content of their facility applications, we also believe that this will help set the industry up for a successful launch for Missouri patients.”
How Many Dispensaries Will Missouri Have?
DHSS is planning to license 192 dispensaries, 86 processing (or medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities) and 10 testing laboratory facilities. They will allow 60 cultivation facilities throughout the state. As of right now, over 600 businesses have already pre-filed applications for potential businesses. This is well over the number of potential licenses that will be granted.
The number of applications submitted is expected to grow now that the official application process is underway. In lesser words, competition for these licenses will be fierce. As noted in the DHSS release, the application process will end on August 17, 2019. Get those applications submitted now!
Where Will Missouri Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Be Located?
Missouri is a large state, so there’s cause for concern that patients might not live near an open dispensary. Thankfully, with 200 potential locations, there should be enough dispensaries to go around. No patient should have to drive more than a half-hour or less. In comparable states like Ohio, for example, there are less than 30 operating dispensaries (at the time of this writing). Most patients still live within an hour or half-hour from a dispensary.
Dispensaries are expected to be spread throughout the Show Me State, with dispensaries near major cities, like St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia. Some larger cities may not allow dispensaries within the major city limits, but suburbs of those cities should expect to see a handful of dispensaries. You can click the image above or view this map of the pre-filed applications to get a sense of where dispensaries could potentially be located.
When Will Missouri Dispensaries Open?
Once licenses have been granted by the state, cultivators can get to work on building out their facilitates and growing medical cannabis. This process could take a few months. For some, this process could take a year or longer. The state appears poised to expedite the process, which is is exciting for patients and businesses. Fingers crossed we see the first dispensaries by spring 2020.
Thankfully, patients aren’t left high and dry. In fact, medical cannabis patients can apply for a home cultivation license and begin growing today. Missouri medical marijuana cards are also being issued now. This card grants a patient an affirmative defense to possess and use medical cannabis, even now.
Getting Your Marijuana Card Now
Getting a Missouri medical marijuana card is easy! All you need to do is give our support team a call at 1-877-242-0362 and they can set you up with an evaluation (in-person or over the phone) with one of our licensed physicians. From there, you will receive a certification letter from your doctor. This letter is registered with the state, granting you access to buy, use and transport medical cannabis. With this letter, you can also apply for a home cultivation license! This gives you access to cannabis ahead of dispensaries opening. Give us a call and get your card today!