Director Fraker opens up at public forum

By Brandon Dunn

At the Medical Marijuana and Legal Cannabis forum, hosted Thursday in St. Louis, Medical Marijuana Division Director Lyndall Fraker fielded questions from attendees and pulled back the curtain just a bit farther into the final expectations of the Medical Marijuana Division.

During the regulatory portion of the forum, Director Fraker touched on several points, in response to audience questions and as part of his presentation, that had either not been formally announced or discussed at length previously.

The director confirmed, as many had thought, that with July 4 being a state and federal holiday, DHSS will begin accepting applications on July 4, but will not begin processing patient applications until July 5.

He also stated, for the first time documented publicly, that hemp and CBD experience would apply as legal market experience on the application.

Fraker also stated plainly that any applicant pursuing a license will need to have more than a preliminary security plan, but will need a specific address and some form of proof of facility. Many had wondered aloud if the state would require applicants to purchase or lease property prior to granting a license – a potentially large cost to someone paying an application fee and securing a building before applying. Fraker’s comments make clear that an LOI, contingency contract, etc. will need to be in place when applying if the applicant does not already possess the location.


The Director also touched on a rule that has perplexed many potential applicants, the requirement for payment prior to delivery. Fraker suggested that, in cases where credit card or debit transactions may not be available, the best means may be to have the patient or an advocate arrange prepayment in person at the dispensary and schedule delivery.

Director Fraker also gave us a closer look at the structure of the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation, explaining that the department will employ approximately 50 employees.

He explained further that half, or about 25 of those positions, will be reserved for inspectors or compliance officers, the remaining positions would be in office support staff handling license renewals, applications, forms, and staffing an inbound call center.

Fraker said that the department expects the call center staff to field roughly 5,000 calls monthly.