The Business of Cannabis: How Hopeful Missouri Cultivators, Manufacturers and Dispensaries Can Prepare for Amendment 2
As a result of the 2018 midterm elections, Missouri became the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana. The passage of Amendment 2 legalizes the growing, manufacturing, selling and consuming of marijuana and marijuana products for medicinal use at the state level. While this is a huge opportunity for those interested in joining the cannabis industry, there are a number of regulatory hoops to jump through before cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries can start doing business.
Medical Marijuana Application and Licensing Process
The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) is tasked with implementing the provisions of Amendment 2, including the issuance of registrations, licenses and certifications. Below is a timeline of important dates to remember if you are considering applying.
- Jan. 5, 2019 – Pre-filed application fee forms will begin to be accepted.
- June 4, 2019 – Application forms and instructions will be available.
- July 4, 2019 – Applications for identification cards will begin to be accepted.
- Aug. 3, 2019 – Facility applications will begin to be accepted.
- Dec. 31, 2019 – Deadline for approval of facility applications submitted on Aug 3.
The application fee is determined by the type of facility and is non-refundable, even if the application is denied.
- Cultivation facilities require a $10,000 non-refundable application fee and a $25,000 annual fee.
- Medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
- Dispensary facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
According to Amendment 2, there will be a limited number of applications approved per facility type. The DHSS will approve a minimum of at least 62 cultivation facilities, 88 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities and 192 dispensary facilities.
Beginning January 5, 2019, the DHSS began accepting Pre-Filed Application Fee forms. The DHSS has indicated that pre-filing fees will not result in preferential treatment or affect the order in which facility application forms are reviewed. Despite the fact that applicants will not receive preferential treatment for pre-filing fees, many applicants have chosen to submit a Pre-Filed Application Fee form and pay the applicable application fee. As of March 11, 2019, nearly 500 Pre-Filed Application Fee forms have been submitted and fees totaling over $3.3 million have been received by the DHSS.