The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Sept. 3 that it has received 2,163 medical cannabis business license applications from prospective operators vying for the state’s 348 licenses.
The application period ran from Aug. 3 through Aug. 19, and according to a Springfield News-Leader report, the state received 554 applications for 60 cultivation licenses, 1,163 applications for 192 dispensary licenses, 415 applications for 86 manufacturing licenses, 17 applications for 10 testing lab licenses, and 14 applications for transport licenses.
The sheer number of applications submitted allegedly caused the state’s online application portal to suffer technical difficulties as last-minute applicants sent in materials, and state officials offered deadline waivers to some of these applicants, according to the Springfield News-Leader. In total, the state granted 109 waivers for the deadline, but denied requests for 20 others, the news outlet reported.
Nevada-based Wise Health Solutions will now score the applications by Nov. 30, the Springfield News-Leader reported, and the state must award the medical cannabis business licenses by Dec. 31 to comply with Amendment 2, the voter-approved initiative that legalized medical marijuana in Missouri.
The state has approved more than 8,000 medical marijuana patient cards, according to the Springfield News-Leader, a robust demand that could lead to an industry worth tens or hundreds of millions when the market opens.
But Missouri has its work cut out for it before the launch of medical cannabis sales—before the market can become fully operational, the state must not only award licenses, but the facilities must also be built and staffed in compliance with Amendment 2, and the cannabis plants themselves must be cultivated and harvested. Dispensaries will likely open in mid-2020, according to the Springfield News-Leader.