Medical marijuana facilities licensed in neighboring counties
No one in Ozark County applied to grow, dispense, manufacture, transport or test medical marijuana after Missouri voters approved the measure last year, but four medical marijuana businesses were issued licenses recently in nearby counties, including three dispensaries and one marijuana-infused-product manufacturing facility.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS),which oversees medical marijuana in Missouri, a total of 415 manufacturing facilities, 1,163 dispensaries, 554 cultivation facilities, 17 testing facilities and 14 transportation facilities applied for licenses in Missouri.
The majority of applications were denied, and those who applied lost the non-refundable application fees of $6,000 each for dispensaries, infused-product manufacturers or testers, $5,000 for transporters, and $10,000 for cultivators.
Marijuana-infused-product manufacturing facilities
According to DHSS, “Marijuana-infused products are products infused with marijuana or an extract thereof and are intended for use or consumption by a means other than smoking. This can include but is not limited to edible products, ointments, tinctures and concentrates.”
On Jan. 10, DHSS issued 86 licenses for medical marijuana-infused-product manufacturing facilities in Missouri. While no applications were filed from Ozark County, EBC-Missouri LLC of Vanzant in Douglas County was granted a license.
Two other Vanzant businesses, MO Gemini Inc. and Connected-Missouri, were denied infused-product manufacturing licenses. An application from Alien Infusions LLC, which had considered locating in Ozark County but instead settled on Mountain View, was also denied.
Several other applications were submitted in Howell and Taney counties, all of which were denied.
Medical marijuana dispensaries
On Jan. 24, DHSS issued 192 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries will sell marijuana and marijuana-infused products to qualified patients, but the businesses are not licensed to grow marijuana or manufacture marijuana products.
In accordance with Missouri’s medical marijuana law, 24 dispensary facilities were licensed in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. Ozark County falls within the western boundary of District 8, which runs all the way to the state’s eastern border and as far north as Jefferson County.
No facilities proposed for Ozark County applied, but two were awarded licenses in nearby West Plains: Harvest of Missouri LLC and OWG III LLC.
In a Jan. 24 story, KY3 News reported that the two West Plains dispensaries “will be opposite each other on Bruce Smith Parkway.”
Another applicant, OWG V, LLC, was issued a license in Mountain Grove.
Applications for eight other West Plains dispensaries and six from Taney County were denied.
Marijuana cultivation facilities
Sixty medical marijuana cultivation facilities were issued licenses on Dec. 26, 2019. No Ozark County applications were filed, but several applicants were filed from Vanzant, West Plains, Pomona, Peace Valley, Hollister and Taneyville. None were issued cultivation licenses.
Show-Me Natural Gardens, run by the Overcast family, formerly of Ozark County, had planned to locate a cultivation facility in Ava. After struggling to secure a location there, the family applied in Macomb instead. Their application to cultivate, as well as their dispensary and manufacturing applications, were all denied.
Testing facilities and transportation facilities
Licenses for medical marijuana testing facilities, which will verify levels of THC in medical marijuana and screen it for any foreign matter or dangerous bacteria, were awarded in mid-December.
The first round of certifications for medical marijuana transportation facilities was announced on Dec. 23, 2019. Additional applications for transportation facilities are still being accepted.
No nearby businesses applied for testing or transportation.
Seed-to-sale facility certifications will be announced on Jan. 31.
“Throughout this entire process, it has been important to us to be fair and transparent as we implement all pieces of this program,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation in a DHSS news release. “This is why we chose to employ a ‘blind’ application scorer who had no access to applicants’ identifying information.”
The announcement said licenses were awarded to the top-scoring facilities that met all eligibility requirements.
A list of all applicants, as well as more information about Missouri’s medical marijuana program can be found at www.medicalmarijuana.mo.gov.