Every decision you make pertaining to your business plays a role in the overall experience for the customer. The environment plays just as big of a role as the cannabis itself.  

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After Missouri voters enacted Amendment 2 last November—which legalized medical marijuana—the state’s health department took public input from patients, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals about how to structure the new system.

But the department doesn’t seem to have equity in mind when it comes to granting cannabis business licenses. Although some questions for applicants will call for diversity to be considered during the hiring process—including hiring for dispensaries, cultivation operations, or cannabis-infused manufacturing facilities—there will be no affirmative action for who gets to grow or sell medical marijuana in Missouri. In fact, all identifying demographic information—like race and gender—will be stripped from applications during the review process.

This blind review process is reportedly meant to ensure fairness, according to Lyndall Fraker, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.

One thing’s for sure: Cannabis licensing in Missouri is shaping up to be quite competitive. The state is required by law to grant licenses to at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture cannabis-infused products, and 192 dispensaries—that’s 24 dispensaries for each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

As of May 2, 2019, a whopping 481 pre-filed application forms and fees totaling $3,470,000 has already been received by the MDHSS.

From application fees to the general criteria for obtaining a cannabis license in Missouri, here’s everything you need to know if you’re interested in growing or selling medical marijuana for profit in the Show Me State.

All facility license application forms and instructions are available online at the MDHSS website, and this handy timeline will show you when all the deadlines are.

Here are the key dates:

  • August 3, 2019: The MDHSS will begin accepting facility license applications
  • August 17, 2019: applicants will have until “close of business” to submit applications
  • December 31, 2019: The MDHSS and contracted partners will review and score completed applications prior to licensing

If your application is approved, you’ll receive your license within 150 days of applying.

General Criteria for Obtaining a Cannabis Business License

To be eligible for a license to grow, manufacture, or sell cannabis and cannabis-infused products in the state of Missouri, 51% of a business must be owned by someone who has lived in Missouri for at least one year.

And whether you’re applying for a license to grow, dispense, or manufacture cannabis products, all applicants will have to detail exactly how they intend to reduce odor caused by the growing, handling, or processing of cannabis.

Below are 10 other general criteria for obtaining a medical marijuana business license in the state of Missouri. For the specifics of these criteria

  1. Character, veracity, background, qualifications, and relevant experience: According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, applicants will need to provide their top three managers’ resumes and proof of their experience in the legal cannabis industry, as well as submitting two letters of recommendation on their behalf.
  2. A detailed business plan: More specifically, applicants will be evaluated on their ability to maintain an adequate supply of medical marijuana.
  3. Site security: Prospective cannabis business owners will have to show the MDHSS how they’ll ensure the safety of both cannabis patients and Missourians living in the surrounding community.
  4. Experience in a legal cannabis market.
  5. For testing licenses only: Experience with healthcare and with testing marijuana, food, or drugs for toxins and/or potency.
  6. Potential positive economic impact on the community surrounding a marijuana business location: Applicants will need to detail how many full-time jobs their businesses will create, what their hourly wages will average, how their managers reflect the community in which their businesses will be located, and their plan to address diversity in their management.
  7. For grow operation licenses only: Capacity or experience in agriculture, horticulture, and healthcare.
  8. For dispensary licenses only: Capacity or experience in healthcare, plus the suitability of the proposed dispensary location and how accessible it will be for patients.
  9. For manufacturing facilities: Capacity or experience with food/beverage manufacturing—additionally, applicants seeking manufacturing licenses will have to detail their plans for waste storage and handling flammable materials, plus whether they’ll consult or hire a chemist, pharmacist, or food scientist.
  10. Maintain competitiveness in the medical marijuana marketplace.

Original Source

This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.

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