Missouri regulators announced Thursday they have started issuing licenses for commercially growing marijuana more than a year after voters approved a measure to open the state to legal medical cannabis use.
“Throughout this entire process, it has been important to us to be fair and transparent as we implement all pieces of this program,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation, in a news release. “This is why we chose to employ a ‘blind’ application scorer who had no access to applicants’ identifying information.”
Regulators will accept cultivation facilities based on which applications score the highest on a number of criteria, including:
Each cultivation facility, which can be indoor or outdoor growing operations, can house up to 2,800 plants. The state initially calculated that 60 licenses would be enough at first, but if demand for the product increases, they can license more facilities at a later date, according to state rules.
The Department of Health and Senior Services will notify applicants by the end of the week which 60 of the 554 medical marijuana cultivation applications have been approved and which have been denied.
What you should know about medical marijuana in Missouri: How to get a card, what are the qualifiers and more. Wochit
The final list of approved applicants will be posted by DHSS at the end of the week on its website.
- the background and qualifications of the owner or managers, including whether they have experience in agriculture and the legal cannabis market
- a proposed business plan outlining factors including how the facility will “maintain an adequate supply of medical marijuana” and ensure the “safety and security” of patients and the community
- plans for site security
- whether the site will have a positive economic impact in the community.
“I’m incredibly appreciative of Lyndall and his entire team for getting Missouri to this pivotal point,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “The manner in which they have efficiently actualized the amendment that voters approved last year is an excellent example of good governance.”
The state will initially grant 60 licenses for indoor our outdoor grow operations that can cultivate up to 2,800 plants each.
Of course, you must already be a certified medical marijuana patient. After that, you can apply for your grower’s identification card from the Department of Health. The card comes with a fee of $100 and must be displayed in your growing area.
Also, you can’t just grow marijuana in your backyard. Your grow area must be contained in a “closed, locked facility.”
Legal weed must be grown only with approved nutrients and pesticides that have been deemed safe for use on marijuana. The marijuana you’ll be able to purchase at the dispensaries will undergo testing to assure purity and potency.
If you’re thinking you’ll just grow your own medical marijuana while you wait for Missouri dispensaries to open, be advised: beside the fact that growing marijuana is no easy task, the dispensaries will probably have products available before you do.
However, there are some restrictions to be aware of.
In the meantime, if your thumb is distinctly not green and you don’t want to attempt to grow your own, then you’re stuck buying from illicit sources.
Be careful though.
More importantly, illegally grown marijuana is oftentimes produced using chemical pesticides and fertilizers and sometimes is not cured properly leading contaminants such as mold.
First, don’t go over your legal limit. The penalties can be steep.
Growing medical marijuana in Missouri Got a green thumb? Under Missouri medical marijuana laws you are permitted to grow your own cannabis at home — up to