Karuna Ventures cannabis cultivation and dispensary company didn’t get the state issued license it wanted to operate a cannabis dispensary in Forest Park – but it did get a license to make cannabis oil products.
Cannabis infusers extract oil from cannabis plants, put that oil in products such as edibles and electric vapor pens, package the products and distribute them to dispensaries. Karuna co-founder and CEO Mike Cardozo said that the company applied for infuser, craft grower and dispensary licenses. While the company got the former, the grower license application is still pending and they didn’t get the dispensary license because of the changes in the application process since their application was originally submitted.
Cardozo said he plans to apply for the dispensary license again in the next round. With one license secured, he is already in the process of getting the business up and running. Cardozo said he hasn’t narrowed down the Forest Park location, but he expects to make a decision within a month and start operations within the next 6 to 9 months.
Under state law, dispensary applications are scored based on employment practices, ownership and employment demographics, environmental impact, impact on the community, its plans for involvement in the community and whether the owners are local. The high-scoring applicants are entered into one of three lottery drawings — the Qualifying Applicants lottery for all applicants that scored at least 213 points, the Tied Applicant lottery for applicants who got the highest score possible and the Equity Justice Involved Lottery for applicants that scored at least 213 points and qualified as a Social Equity Justice applicant.
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