Missouri Gives Regulators Access to Employee FBI Background Checks

Missouri lawmakers have approved a measure giving medical cannabis regulators in the state the ability to access the FBI’s national fingerprint and background check database; the bill also aims to ban kid-friendly cannabis edibles shapes.

Full story after the jump.

Missouri’s House of Representatives has approved a measure that bans some medical cannabis edibles and gives some officials at the state Department of Health and Senior Services access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation national fingerprint and background check database, Missourinet reports.

The measure, which already passed the Senate, will allow some individuals working on medical cannabis at DHSS to perform background checks on employees associated with medical cannabis licensing and the agency could eventually require fingerprints from industry operators and workers as part of the licensing or certification process, the report says.

Representative Ron Hicks (R) said the measure would keep the state’s medical cannabis industry “clean” so the state and cannabusinesses can ensure that they “have the correct employees handling” the product.

Previously the FBI had declined to share fingerprint and background check information with DHSS because it is not a law enforcement agency.

The edibles provisions in the bill ban medical cannabis edibles that are designed, produced or marketed to appeal to people under 18 years old, including “the shape of a human, animal, or fruit, including realistic, artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings,” according to the bill text. It does allow “geometric shapes, including, but not limited to, circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles.”

The measure also includes telemedicine rules and guidelines for physicians who recommend medical cannabis.

The bill still requires Gov. Mike Parson’s (R) signature before taking effect.

The House is currently conducting an investigation into how regulators handled the state’s medical cannabis licensing process, which includes determining whether companies linked to the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association and the association’s lobbyist Steve Tilley were given preferential treatment in the process.

Last week, the House passed a bill to remove the cap on medical cannabis licenses in the state which would essentially allow any business owner to secure a license if they meet the minimum state requirements; however, the session ended on Friday without further action taken on the measure in the Senate.

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