JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Advisory Committee on Cultivation Facility Experience met Wednesday morning to approve application questions for cultivation licenses, ultimately unanimously approving question deletions and additions.

The committee consisted of Department of Agriculture Division Director of Plant Industries Paul Bailey, former state representative and educator Lyle Rowland, and Lincoln University Associate Professor of Plant and Environmental Science Hwei Ying Johnson.

Department of Health and Senior Services Medical Marijuana Program Division Director Lyndall Fraker opened the public hearing of about 20 in attendance, with program counsel Richard Moore moderating.

“We are trying to ask questions in a way that applicants are judged based on the responses,” Moore said. “The Constitution puts requirements on the rule makers.”

Moore explained some questions will not be asked because of the minimum requirements laid out in the amendment.

Moore noted public comment for rules will be left open until the very last moment, with the comment period open until mid-May. Public comment deadlines for the questions are staggered ahead of each advisory committee public hearings, which are staggered from Wednesday through May 1. The full list of hearings is available at the DHSS website.

Rules must be finalized by the Department by June 4.

For cultivation applications, members were asked to rank the importance of questions from 1-4, with 4 being “critical.” From the ranking system, members deleted application questions related to capacity or experience in retaining a physician or pharmacist during cultivation establishment (119), the retention of a physician or pharmacist after cultivation processes are established (120), in plant cultivation for human consumption as food or medicine (121), and genetic modification or breeding (122).

Four rules were amended and accepted, including:

    • Describe your experience with maintaining a sanitary grow facility, from seed or clone through packaging.
    • Describe your experience with product coding/traceability.
    • Describe your experience with recalls and any proposed plan to recall medical marijuana
    • Describe any existing or future plans for utility provider (Electric and Water)  agreements

The committee added questions regarding facility size, technology use, certifications (such as food handling), and quality control plan. In all, the hearing lasted just over 30 minutes.

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Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer. Rachael studied at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children. To contact Rachael, email rachael@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.