Missouri has received more than 2,100 medical cannabis industry applications, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services officials. The Associated Press reports that 1,163 of those applications are for dispensary operation and 554 are for cultivation licenses.
Missouri officials plan to issue 192 dispensary licenses and 60 cultivation licenses in the first round of licensing. The agency also received 415 manufacturer applications, 17 testing laboratory applications, and 14 transporter applications; under the voter-approved constitutional amendment the state must approve 86 manufacturers.
According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, at least 25 applicants represent out-of-state businesses, including Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, which applied to run eight shops. Other applicants are from Kansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Tennessee. In all, applicants want to open 175 cannabusinesses across the St. Louis metro area.
Entrepreneur Jimmy Koch, who wants to turn part of a Springfield bar and music venue into a medical cannabis dispensary, told the Springfield News-Leader that he was excited to see all the interest.
“It’s great to see how many people want to be involved. And even though everyone knew the risks going in, it will be a bummer to see so many people heartbroken after investing all that time and money it takes to just build a plan, secure a location and turn in the application.” — Jimmy Koch, via the News-Leader
Regulators have until Jan. 1, 2020 to approve or deny dispensary applications. Officials began accepting patient applications in July but sales are not expected until April or March of next year.
Officials anticipate about $20 million annually from medical cannabis-derived sales taxes and fees.
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