DHSS faces backlash after deadline extension for applications

DHSS faces backlash after deadline extension for applications

DHSS has announced they would extend the facility application deadline from Saturday at 11:59 p.m. to Monday, August 19 at 4:30 p.m.

What many viewed as an opportunity or a preventative measure to reduce the possibility of problems was met with immediate backlash online. As news of the extension circulated the reaction was not what was expected.

One Facebook user commented, “We have been doing 18 hour days for 2 weeks to make sure we finish on time so the state should make themselves available on the due date.”

Another user echoed the sentiment, “If someone pre-filed and can’t meet the window, they should be out of luck, it’s a competitive process and a deadline is a deadline.”

Dozens of other posts from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms reiterated the same common thoughts.

Dan Viets, New Approach Missouri President, MCIA Board Chair and MO NORML Coordinator, spoke to Greenway briefly on Friday.

Greenway asked Viets about speculation as to why the state may have moved the deadline, with some industry insiders saying it could have to do with the low number of completed applications and worry about reaching the constitutionally required numbers for facilities and the backlash about the extension.

“I don’t think that’s a problem, I believe(DHSS). I think they had some technical issues and as they said in the press release they wanted to have staff available to take calls,” Viets continued, “I don’t know this as true, but I’ve heard that (DHSS) were afraid their website might get overburdened. That’s an awful lot of data to be filing all at the same time.”


In regards to sentiment surrounding the decision to move the deadline, Viets was surprised to hear that some applicants and onlookers were having such a negative reaction.

“I don’t see how this disadvantages anyone,” Viets said. “(Applicants) had notice well before the deadline that it was going to be extended, so if people wanted to take more time, they could. But if they’ve already filed, then obviously, they didn’t think they needed all the time that they had.”

MoCannTrade Executive Director Andrew Mullins said that members had mixed reactions. 

“Some members were very excited to have the additional time, but many others who considered themselves prepared for the turn in were frustrated with the extension. For the most part, this extension provided the only real criticism of the department thus far from members. Some were surprised and even critical DHSS scheduled the close of the application window on a Saturday in the first place with no office or technical support. It would have made more sense to end the window on Friday the 16th at 4:30p from the beginning. But that is really it, all other feedback has come in the form of praise and compliments on how timely and smoothly the program is being implemented.

“Overall, MoCannTrade agrees with the compliments. Considering everything that needed to be accomplished in such a short time and the actual lack of issues or missed deadlines, we applaud DHSS and are hopeful the application process completes without issue.”

Medical facility applicants now have until 4:30 p.m. Monday, August 19 to turn-in complete applications. The state is mandated to allow 60 cultivation facilities, 192 dispensaries, 86 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities, and 2 testing labs. The state has said the will issue licenses for up to 10 testing facilities.

The MU market study stated that Missouri would have between 16,045 and 22,013 qualified accepted patients by the end of 2020. As of 8/15 Missouri had received over 7,000 patient applications and had already approved over 6300.