The first licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the Kansas City area opened Monday.
“Missouri patients have always been our north star as we work to implement the state’s medical marijuana program,” said Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams in a statement. “We greatly appreciate how hard everyone has worked so that patients can begin accessing a safe and well-regulated program.”
The Lee Summit location is the first of two dispensaries operated by license-holder fresh.green. The company’s Kansas City location is still under construction.
The dispensary sells unprocessed flowers and pre-ground packages produced by Solhaus, an outdoor cultivator located in southeast Missouri. Due to the limited amount of product currently available in Missouri, the business set a purchase limit of 3.5 grams.
Two dispensaries operated by N’Bliss opened in the St. Louis area last week, making Missouri’s first licensed marijuana sales Saturday.
The company was approved for four dispensary licenses, with two more locations in Festus and House Springs expected to open later this year.
DHSS said it expects most of the 192 licensed dispensaries in Missouri to open by the end of 2020.
Patients need approval from a doctor and a state-issued medical marijuana card to make purchases. 65,000 Missourians have been approved as patients so far.
The state began accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing, and testing operations last August. The first batch of licenses was issued at the end of last year and the beginning of 2020.
Missouri’s first growing operation, operated by BeLeaf Medical, opened in St. Louis County in June.
The state’s program has seen controversy this year. 600 patient licenses were deemed invalid by DHSS in June after it discovered at least one person had impersonated a doctor and approved the licenses.
In April, DHSS settled appeals from a pair of facilities originally denied licenses.
The department defended its process against accusations of “scoring irregularities” from the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association in January.
Missouri’s medical marijuana program was established by 2018’s Amendment 2.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at email@example.com.