JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Those seeking a medical marijuana facility licenses now have until Monday to submit the necessary paper work.
On Thursday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced facility applications will be accepted until Aug. 19, at 4:30 p.m. — two days after the original deadline.
The state started accepting applications for medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, and testing facilities on Aug. 3. The initial deadline was set at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 17.
“We are expecting a large volume of applications to be submitted during a short window of time,” said Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “Hundreds of people pre-filed non-refundable fees, and we haven’t received their official applications just yet. We want to ensure all of our applicants receive excellent customer service.”
DHSS said it learned during the first several days of receiving applications that many applicants found it helpful to have representatives immediately available to answer questions about how to submit applications.
So far, 236 applications have been received through the department’s online registry. Stakeholders have projected as many as 1,000 applications being submitted — more than 600 businesses prefiled nonrefundable-application fees.
The top-scoring 60 cultivation facilities, 192 dispensary facilities, and 86 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities will be initially licensed for business in Missouri.
“Extending our deadline will allow us to be fully available to applicants on the last filing day to address any last-minute technical questions that may arise, while remaining in full compliance with Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution as prescribed by law,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.
The limited number of licenses in contrast to the expected number of applicants means there will be winners and losers. But it won’t be the state picking and choosing who is awarded a license and who is denied a license.
The state is using a third-party blind scoring system. More than half a dozen businesses have submitted bids to preform the blind scoring. The Office of Administration has not announced who gets the contract.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.