Covered in white protective clothing, Wendy Bronfein stepped into a long, sterile hallway of closed doors. She calls it the 'Willy Wonka-esque' corridor. “This is the Mike Teavee part of the tour,” said Bronfein, co-founder of the Maryland-based cannabis company Curio Wellness, referencing the character from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'

Everything down to the wheels on the carts at the new cannabis manufacturing facility in St. Louis County gets scrubbed regularly. And that’s not just because Bronfein had been expecting inspectors from the Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation to complete a final audit of the site so the company could begin operations.

It’s also because Curio Wellness is aiming to be among the few cannabis facilities in Missouri to obtain a Good Manufacturing Practice certification, a standard the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires pharmaceutical companies to obtain. “GMP is a standard that goes above and beyond anything that the state requires,” she said. “We’ve had that certification in Maryland since 2013.”

The entire facility is 130,000 square feet, with the manufacturing portion taking up 55,000 square feet. The rest is under construction to build out the cultivation side, where the plants will grow, which Bronfein said, should be completed in April.

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