By August 3, 2019, Missouri must begin accepting marijuana license applications. Aspects of the Amendment as to how Missouri will evaluate applicants. Scoring considerations include:
- character, background, experience and qualifications
- Business plan
- Site security
- Economic Impact
- Competitiveness in the medical cannabis marketplace
Dispensary applicants would be evaluated in part on the suitability of their location and accessibility to patients.
The 192 dispensaries, where qualifying patients will buy cannabis. must be equally divided among Missouri eighth congressional districts. The 7th district, including Springfield/Branson/Joplin is guaranteed to have 24 dispensaries in operation sometime in early 2020. But the other three types of businesses could be located anywhere in the state, concentrated – or spread out.
Local governments can’t prohibit medical marijuana businesses under amendment 2, but the medical marijuana Amendment leaves a degree of leeway for local governments to decide where those businesses can be located requiring that no new medical marijuana facility can be placed within the 1000 ft of an existing elementary or secondary school, child daycare or church. The amendment also allows local government to adjust the 1,000 foot rule to create similar buffer zones.
For cultivation facilities, there is a 1000 foot rule and grow operations must be similar to indoor greenhouses. Missouri weather is not great for outdoor cannabis plants. Legal indoor growing businesses would be allowed in parts of the city already zones for seven types of industrial and commercial activities. Those districts are mostly concentrated in northwest Springfield, northeast springfield and some patches of the city’s south side. Anyone who wanted to put a grow operation directly adjacent to a residential zooming district would have to ask the city for a conditional use permit. Getting one of those permits would mean following 21 conditions already outlined in the city ordinances, but marijuana grow operations would also need a ventilation system to keep odors inside the premises. They also can only operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Use of marijuana on the property would be prohibited, as would any outdoor operation or storage.
Testing facilities could be located in many of the same parts of the city as a grow operation, mainly in northwest and northeast Springfield. THe missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association recommended five types of springfield industrial and manufacturing zone where they could go.
The “manufacturing facility” category is a catch-all term. There will be 85 licenses statewide that will go toward marijuana-infused product manufacturing facilities. Some manufacturing operations that extract THC-rich oil from the marijuana plant could involve the use of butane, which is propane from carbon dioxide. The extraction sites where oil is extracted with powerful gases and chemicals would be restricted to general manufacturing and heavy manufacturing zones. The 1000 foot rule would apply, and like the grow operations, a manufacturer would need a conditional use permit with similar requirement if they want to open up next to a residential zone.