About Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program

Missouri stands to become a robust Medical Marijuana market and the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana if voters choose to pass one of three initiatives presented during the 2018 election cycle. Missouri cannabis legalization is unique in the history of America in that there are three separate initiatives on the ballot:

  • Amendment 2 — New Approach Missouri
  • Amendment 3 — Find the Cures/Dr. Brad Bradshaw
  • Proposition C — Missourians for Patient Care

All of the initiatives are for medical use only at this time leaving those searching for recreational dispensaries in Missouri waiting for the medical market to pave the way into recreational use as it has done in nine other states as of July 2018. Voters approved changes to marijuana laws in Kansas City, Missouri by reducing possession penalties for illegal cannabis users in April 2017. The current development of new Missouri marijuana laws seem to be following a similar path to so many states before it that ultimately resulted in at least medical marijuana becoming legalized.

All three measures feature a YES or NO vote, meaning they will either be approved or denied so it will be interesting to see if all of them have a YES majority or all of them have a NO majority. In the event that all three initiatives receive a majority YES vote, the initiative with the highest percentage of YES votes will be enacted. The Amendment initiatives will take priority over the Proposition initiative even if the Proposition wins a higher proportion of YES votes. Every vote is important in the Missouri marijuana initiatives due to the way the outcome is to be determined.

PROPOSED LICENSES TO BE AVAILABLE IN MISSOURI

New Approach Missouri (Amendment 2) — Business must be majority owned by individuals who have lived in Missouri for at least one year. Cities can regulate limited aspects of operations, and retail sales would be taxed at 4%. Investment options include:

  • Cultivation: 61 three-year licenses overall. Limit three licenses per entity, 30,000 square feet of flowering canopy indoors or 2,800 flowering plants outside; $10,000 application fee, $25,000 annual fee per facility.
  • Dispensary: 192 three-year licenses overall. Limit five licenses per entity; $6,000 application and first-time renewal fee, $10,000 annual fee per facility.
  • Infusion/Extraction: 88 three-year licenses overall. Limit three licenses per entity; $6,000 application and first-time renewal fee, $10,000 annual fee per facility.
  • Bradshaw Amendment (Amendment 3) — Business must be owned by individuals who have lived in Missouri for at least three years or entities that are registered in Missouri and at least 70% owned by individuals who have lived in Missouri for at least three years. Cities can petition for a five-year ban on facilities, renewed upon voter approval, and can regulate limited aspects of operations. Retail sales would be taxed at 15%. Investment opportunities include:
  • Cultivation: 50 one-year licenses overall. Limit three licenses per entity, 20,000 square feet of plant canopy; $25,000 application fee, $25,000 first-year fee per facility, $15,000 annually thereafter.
  • Research Cultivation: 400 one-year licenses overall. Limit five licenses per entity, 2,500 square feet of plant canopy; $5,000 application fee, $10,000 first-year fee per facility, $5,000 annually thereafter.
  • Dispensary: 300 one-year licenses. Limit five licenses per entity; $25,000 application fee, $25,000 first-year fee per facility, $10,000 annually thereafter.
  • Infusion/Extraction: 50 one-year licenses overall. Limit five licenses per entity; $25,000 application fee, $20,000 first-year fee per facility, $10,000 annually thereafter.
  • Missourians for Patient Care Act (Proposition C) — Business must be at least 60% owned by individuals who have lived in Missouri for three years. Cities and counties would have the ability to grant licenses after public hearings, revoke licenses, or by a two-thirds majority of voters, ban all cultivation facilities and dispensaries. Investment options include:
  • Cultivation and Production: Approximately 61 one-year licenses overall, limit three licenses per entity. No size limits mentioned; $12,500 application fee, $12,500 annual fee. Local licensing fee not to exceed $1,250.
  • Dispensary: 61-183 one-year licenses overall, limit three licenses per entity. At least 70% of all sales must come from the dispensary’s own cultivation and production facility; $12,500 application fee, $12,500 annual fee. Local licensing fee not to exceed $1,250.

Anticipated Number of Existing Licenses by License Type (under Amendment 2)

  • Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses (Anticipated) = 60
  • Medical Marijuana Processing Licenses (Anticipated) = 86
  • Medical Marijuana Disp Licenses (Anticipated) = 192

Anticipated Number of Existing Licenses by License Type (under Amendment 3)

  • Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses (20,000 sq/ft canopy) (Anticipated) = 50
  • Medical Marijuana Processing Licenses (Anticipated) = 50
  • Medical Marijuana Research Cultivation (2,500 sq/ft canopy) (Anticipated) = 400
  • Medical Marijuana Processing Licenses (Anticipated) = 300

Anticipated Number of Existing Licenses by License Type (under Prop C)

  • Medical Marijuana Cultivation and Processing Licenses (Anticipated) = 61
  • Medical Marijuana Disp Licenses (Anticipated) = 61-183

Below is a breakdown of the three different initiatives on the ballot:

  • 4% tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana
  • For patients with debilitating diseases, only recommended by state-licensed physicians
  • Revenue creates a "Missourian Veterans' Health and Care Fund"
  • Revenue goes to Missouri Veterans Commission for health and care services
  • Revenue used for regulation and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities
  • Allows patients to grow in their homes for easier access, as long as they possess a 90-day supply and keep it on their property in their own control
  • Monitored and overseen by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Estimated to annually generate $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, $6 million for local governments
  • Annual operating costs are estimated to be $7 million

Anticipated Steps to Obtaining a License in Missouri

  • One of three initiatives pass Nov 2018
  • Jan 2019 - Provisional Rules will be released
  • Early March 2019 - Applications become available (Amendment 2)
  • May 2019 - Applications due (Amendment 2)

What does this mean for potential operators?

  • Nov 2018 — Begin developing business plan
  • Dec 2018 — Engage with qualified consulting and writing team to begin strategizing
  • Jan 2019 — Begin securing property and team members
  • March 2019 — Applications become available. There is generally a 1-2 month window after applications are released to create and submit all application materials
  • May 2019 — Turn in completed competitive application.