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Medical marijuana facility application questions revised for economic impact and competitiveness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Two advisory committees for medical marijuana facility application question review met Monday, reviewing economic questions for all applicants. Department of Health and Senior Services Medical Marijuana Division Director Lyndall Fraker welcomed both committees, which were moderated by counsel Richard Moore, and were open to the public.

There are 10 question silos with respective committees reviewing, amending, deleting, and ultimately approving all questions on the upcoming applications for facility licenses to be granted by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Each committee had less than a dozen in attendance for each.

The Advisory Committee on Economic Impact in Site Community met Monday morning, deleting one question, amending another, and ultimately unanimously approving three questions.

Questions 89-92 on the proposed questions were discussed, with a question regarding full-time employees amended to include part-time employees, as well.

Question 89 was stricken and re-written, which the committee approved.

The question “How many full-time jobs will the business have created within 1 year of being authorized to sell or process medical marijuana?” will now also ask about part-time jobs. The questions were all rated as highly important, a 3 on a scale of 1-4, by the committee. One is slightly important, four is critically important.

The Economic Impact committee was comprised of Associated Industries of Missouri President Ray McCarty, Missouri Business Development Manager of Entrepreneurship and Business Development Kelly Dyer, and the Department of Economic Development’s Economic and Workforce Research Manager Alan Spell.

McCarty noted job numbers do not tell the whole story about a facility considering the use of technology. Technology in manufacturing may not contribute to the economy job wise, he said, but it makes up for it in property taxes.

Other questions include inquiries into employee pay and “potential for positive economic impact.”

The second committee to meet, the Advisory Committee on Maintaining Competitiveness, approved one question and deleted another unanimously. One question asked about how facilities will maintain competitiveness while the other asked about business advantages of a business over competitors. The committee contended that it would be impossible for applicants to answer the second question without knowing the competition, striking it.

The committee included Dyer, Department of Economic Development’s Maggie Kost, and University of Missouri Agricultural Economic Joe Horner.

All of Monday’s reviewed questions will appear on all applications for facility licenses. These were the third and fourth of ten hearings scheduled over the next weeks to approve the question silos. Last week, other advisory committees approved questions for cultivator and dispensary applications.

All rules must be finalized by June 4. The department will begin accepting facility license applications on August 3. Dispensaries require a non-refundable $6,000 application fee. Those dispensaries whose applications are approved will have a $10,000 annual license fee.