US (MO): Applications show strong competition for MMJ licenses

In less than a month, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will open a two-week window for applications to operate medical marijuana dispensaries and other facilities.

If the pre-filing fees already paid are a measure of what is coming, competition will be fierce for the 192 dispensary, 60 cultivation and 86 infused-product manufacturing licenses that will be issued. Those are the minimum numbers set by Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana, requires the state to license.

Through July 2, the department has received 554 pre-filed applications, including 308 for dispensaries, 160 for growing centers and 85 infused-product manufacturers.

There were 34 from Boone County. If all the applicants follow through, dispensary operators in Boone County will be seeking 24 licenses, or the entire allocation for the Fourth Congressional District, which covers all or part of 24 counties.

The list of pre-applicants is now public, as a result of Sunshine Law case brought by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Of the Boone County proposals, 31 want to operate in Columbia, with 22 dispensaries, six cultivators and three manufacturers. There are also pre-filed applications for a Centralia dispensary, a Hallsville dispensary and a cultivator in Rocheport.

The health department will accept applications from Aug. 3 to Aug. 17. The state has received $3.9 million in pre-filing fees, which cost $6,000 for dispensaries and infusion centers and $10,000 for growers. The total for the Boone County fees is $232,000.


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