Missouri Medical excited for operator opportunity in home state

Missouri Medical Manufacturing and Missouri Medical Products, manufacturing and cultivation applications in Laurie, are majority female-owned and operated.

Smith

Denise Smith, a managing member of the applicant businesses, has legal market experience in other states but is excited to be an operator in Missouri.

“We’re owners in similar operations in Oklahoma and family have investments in Colorado, yet Missouri has been our home state for decades,” Smith told Greenway Magazine. “So when we saw the opportunities coming to our area, we were naturally excited and supportive!”

Smith said the facilities will prioritize quality, safety, and variety of products from their central Missouri location. They will also “provide support and ongoing education to our customer dispensaries to ensure end-user knowledge and safety.”

“Our cultivation business will provide high quality and a large variety of cannabis while supplying sugar leaf and trim for the manufacturing entity,” Smith told Greenway Magazine. “The infused products manufacturing company will specialize in a variety of products, including vape carts, edibles (chocolates, gummies, baked items, etc.) lotions, tablets and also extraction services for private labeled products for other licensed Missouri vendors.”

Smith said Missouri Medical plans to distribute product statewide. They will offer white labeling to dispensaries and purchase additional material to manufacture from other cultivators.

“We’ve had a large number of dispensaries contact us about products and potential prepackaged goods that can be personalized for their businesses and logos,” Smith said. “We have artwork consultants that can work to design to their liking if needed. Many dispensaries will seek their own private labeling on select products. As for manufacturing, we will aggressively seek to purchase sugar leaf and trim from other Missouri cultivators to further feed our large extraction equipment and demand. We’ll be paying above-market prices for these items which add to cultivator’s revenues. These by-products are otherwise useless to cultivators.”

The team comprises of highly experienced head growers, food/beverage manufacturers, a physician, a dentist, a lawyer, a pharmacist, and other specialists.

    

Despite substantial experience out of state, Smith said they still have industry concerns relating to overall quality and tax relief.

“First, concerns for growing, maintaining and delivering quality products to the consumer,” Smith said. “Not even talking about passing safety tests. The idea of the quality that compares with the best of other states. Let’s give Missouri a good name and recognized as the best. We don’t want crap being passed off as acceptable. THC levels are just part of the equation. Let’s set a high bar for our quality, making happy customers, better medicine and a great name for us Missourians!

“Hopes for the industry include immediate relief for the punishing tax burden on 1st dispensaries, 2nd Manufacturers and 3rd Cultivators. In that order, since most new operators won’t realize that the only way to exceed for now is in volume sales. Most dispensaries will struggle after overhead, payroll, cost of inventory only to later realize the loss of write-offs or deductions. For example, if a dispensary sells $30k in product, the cost of goods is $15k, the labor is $10k, rent and utilities is $2k, you’re left with $3k. If any of the rent is based on percentage that part is also not deductible. You see then that the IRS, state, and licensure still wants their money. So only by higher sales can you overcome until relief comes… So yes, we need tax reform to treat our businesses fairly.”

Smith believes patient numbers will surprise the industry and meeting the demand will be an early struggle overall.

“Rapid expansion of both medicinal patient enrollment and product development will continue. Numbers will be surprising. Cultivation will gear up but likely fall short of demand through most of 2020. Manufacturing won’t get into full swing until mid to late Summer. Missouri will not move as fast as other states into Recreational marijuana so medicinal is here for a while, but that’ll still likely happen within next 3-4 years. Banking will be fixed first, followed by further Federal relief until legalization. Tax relief won’t come until this occurs. IRS will not play ball until then. By then Missouri will probably get around to Recreational which is inevitable.”

At the end of the day, Smith and her team’s application comprise one of 554 cultivation applications and one of 415 manufacturing applications. The state will award 60 cultivation licenses and 86 manufacturing licenses.

“With the sheer number of applicants no one is breathing easy,” Smith said. “However, we do believe Missouri DHSS has gone above and beyond to make the opportunity fair and available to all.”