Missouri health-related marijuana application method starts — and competitors appears fierce

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Missouri has begun accepting applications for its health-related marijuana plan as of Saturday, August three, and the competitors appears like it will be fierce.

Up to two,000 applications are anticipated to vie for 348 licenses, and currently more than 600 applicants have paid the application charges prior to the applications even opened, according to the Missouri Division of Well being.

The licenses are divided among diverse categories — 60 for cultivation facilities, 86 for processors, 192 for dispensaries and 10 for testing laboratories.

Missouri health-related marijuana application charges can go up to $10,000, based on the form of application (the cultivation facility charge is the highest), and the charges are non-refundable.

So far, the state has collected $four.two million from the application charges, enabling it to operate the application method without having dipping into tax dollars.

Nevertheless, regardless of the higher quantity of applicants pre-paying their charges, only 27 complete applications have been submitted as of Wednesday, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

The director of the state’s health-related cannabis plan, Lyndall Fraker, told St. Louis Public Radio she was “surprised” there weren’t far more applications, but she expects “an awful lot” in the coming days.

There are a couple of possible causes for the little quantity of complete applications submitted.

Complicated method and higher charges

It is an substantial application method, with up to 41 worksheets that have to be filled out, and a criminal background verify is aspect of the method.

Offered the higher application charges and fierce competitors, it is probably a lot of are taking their time to guarantee applications are completed appropriately — applicants have till August 17 to apply.

Third-celebration vendor Smart Well being Options, which is primarily based in Nevada, will method the applications applying a blind scoring program, which means the name of the applicant will be hidden.

So far, most of the applicants have been multistate operators and wealthy neighborhood men and women, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

The applicants consist of Massachusetts-primarily based Curaleaf, which currently has 13 licenses in 13 states, according to the newspaper, as effectively as Noah’s Arc Foundation and BeLeaf Healthcare, which are the only two firms at present licensed to develop hemp for CBD production in Missouri.

Missouri is hoping to tackle a lack of diversity in the budding cannabis business by like 3 to hour diversity inquiries in the applications that will give bonus points, according to Fraker.

The division ought to award licenses no later than December 31. Dispensaries are anticipated to be open about 2020’s late spring, early summer season, according to the Missouri Healthcare Cannabis Trade Association.

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