Missouri officials have cleared the first dispensaries to start selling marijuana to adult consumers and began accepting applications for people to grow their own cannabis at home—three days ahead of schedule.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) on Friday approved 335 facilities to begin adult-use marijuana operations—including 207 dispensaries, 72 manufacturers and 56 cultivation facilities.
Existing medical cannabis businesses whose dual licenses were approved are now officially able to open their doors to the recreational market.
DHSS, which has regulatory authority over the program and is responsible for issuing all cannabis licenses, started initial work to prepare the rules back in August after it was confirmed cannabis legalization would be on the ballot.
The Division of Cannabis Regulation under DHSS started accepting applications from existing medical cannabis dispensaries that want to serve adult-use customers in early December. The plan was to start approving hybrid licenses on Monday, but the department moved that timeline up, regulators announced on Thursday.
Also on Friday, regulators started accepting applications for adults to grow their own marijuana. The department released sample applications last month so people could prepare to get their documents submitted.
Missouri’s voter-approved marijuana law, which took effect in December, requires adults 21 and older to apply for approval to lawfully cultivate their own plants.
There were legislative attempts to enact marijuana legalization in Missouri last session, including a revised reform bill that Rep. Ron Hicks (R) introduced in September for a special session ahead of the election, but it did not advance.
The bill was filed just one day after the Missouri Supreme Court gave a final ruling on a legal challenge to the activist-led initiative that secured its placement on the ballot.
Hicks’s legislation had been slightly revised since it was introduced and advanced through committee during the regular session last year. One key change is the addition of an emergency clause that referenced the ballot initiative, making it so the legislation would take effect immediately upon passage.
Gov. Mike Parson (R) said, however, that he would not add marijuana legalization to the agenda for the special session focused on tax relief and agriculture issues.
Meanwhile, a Republican Missouri lawmaker filed a bill last month that would provide therapeutic access to psilocybin for people with serious mental health conditions
Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.
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