Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulation said last week that it’s “become aware” that some people who recently received small-scale cannabis business licenses—which are meant to boost opportunities for businesses in disadvantaged communities—are now trying to sell them.

On October 2, the state issued 48 licenses to the winners of a lottery that determined who gets to participate in Missouri’s microbusiness program. The division warned in a guidance issued on October 10 that if winners try to sell the licenses, the businesses must continue to be majority owned and operated by individuals who meet the eligibility qualifications.

There are seven categories where people could qualify for a microbusiness license, ranging from having a lower income level or living in an area considered impoverished to having past arrests or incarcerations related to marijuana offenses. When asked how many licenses the division is aware of being posted for sale, spokeswoman Lisa Cox said in an email to The Independent that the division is “aware of two advertisements.”

“We spoke directly with the licensees, and they explained they are seeking investors and do not intend to sell the licenses prior to becoming operational or without department approval,” Cox said. “Seeking additional investors prior to being operational is allowed, if the change in ownership does not exceed 50 percent.”

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