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US (MO): State auditor launches inquiry into Missouri cannabis program

Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick has begun an investigation into the state’s marijuana program, vowing to assess whether regulators are operating “in a manner that is efficient, accountable, and transparent.” The audit is not a routine, scheduled review. It was initiated by Fitzpatrick after he pledged last year during his campaign to look into how Missouri oversees legalized cannabis.

It will cover both the medical and recreational programs, spanning back to when Missouri voters first signed off on medical cannabis in 2018. Auditors working for Fitzpatrick met with officials at the Department of Health and Senior Services for the first time on Aug. 2.

There was no formal announcement that the inquiry was being conducted, but the marijuana program was listed on Fitzpatrick’s official website on a list of ongoing audits. Fitzpatrick, a first-term Republican from Shell Knob, said in an email to The Independent that the audit was inspired by the fact that cannabis is poised to be a $1 billion industry in Missouri and the amendments that legalized it “represent some of the most substantial changes we’ve seen to our state constitution in recent memory.”

“These provisions now make up more than one-fifth of the language in our state constitution,” Fitzpatrick said. He added: “The rules and regulations promulgated for these programs govern hundreds of marijuana facilities all across Missouri that cultivate and sell cannabis products to hundreds of thousands of Missourians each year.”

Read more at missouriindependent.com

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