Sarcoxie Nursery founders become the first to sue DHSS

Sarcoxie Nursery founders become the first to sue DHSS


Sarcoxie Nursery founders, the Callicoats, have become the first to take action against the Department of Health and Senior Services as they yesterday filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, and have petitioned for a declaration of judgment.

The hearing is set for 4:00pm December 30.

Court documents are attached following the release issued by the Callicoat family and Sarcoxie Nursery below.

Callicoats Sue DHSS Over Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses

A southwest Missouri family whose passionate advocacy to legalize medical marijuana made them synonymous with the burgeoning industry filed a lawsuit Friday against Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services over its handling of cultivation licenses.

Dr. Paul Callicoat, a retired cardiologist and a principal of Sarcoxie Nursery, said the lawsuit challenges the scoring system used to grade the applications, as well as the state’s decision to only award 60 licenses. The lawsuit, which includes a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, was filed in Cole County Circuit Court. His wife Wendy and son Jonathon are also principals of Sarcoxie Nursery.

“Our family along with tens of thousands of advocates from across Missouri fought hard to legalize medical marijuana to bring healing to patients, as well as much-need economic opportunities to our local communities and to our state,” Dr. Callicoat said. “These large corporations that now have been awarded the lion’s share of the cultivation licenses were not involved in the effort either with time or money. It is wrong, and it is not what Missourians intended when they voted to legalize medical marijuana.”

The legal action comes one day after the state denied the Callicoats’ application for a medical marijuana cultivation facility license for the historic Sarcoxie Nursery in the rural southwest community of Sarcoxie.

The family refused to be deterred and immediately began reviewing all available lawful remedies to reverse the decision.

“We have received overwhelming support and encouragement from advocates and patients from across Missouri,” Dr. Callicoat said. “We remain committed to ensuring patients have the access to high-quality, safe and effective medical marijuana that they need and deserve.”


The Callicoats purchased Sarcoxie Nursery with the goal of delivering much-needed economic activity to the community. Sarcoxie Nursery was once one of the world’s highest-quality growers and purveyors of fine flowers, earning the town the moniker of “Peony Capitol of the World.” The nursery struggled over the years, eventually closing in 2006.

The Callicoats’ plan for a vertically integrated cannabis company with on-site cultivation and manufacturing facilities won the support of citizens, civic leaders and law enforcement. It will bring needed well-paying jobs to the area.

The constitutional amendment that Missouri voters approved in 2018 clearly demanded medical cannabis businesses be majority-Missouri owned and that a Missourian be the majority financial benefactor.

The Callicoats have deep-roots in Missouri and have lived in rural southwest Missouri for 29 years. They have assembled a highly skilled Missouri-led team with extensive experience in the cannabis space, demonstrating financial viability, medical knowledge, patient care and community benefits.

Dr. Callicoat is an experienced entrepreneur, having built a successful medical practice from the ground up. He continues to educate himself, medical providers and others about the benefits of medical marijuana.

Wendy has spent much of her life caring for people – first as a mother and later as a healthcare administrator, working alongside her husband to serve more than 5,000 patients. She served as an Amendment 2 volunteer coordinator and is recognized as one of the industry’s “Women to Watch.”

Jonathon is a botanist. His passion for the industry was the catalyst for Sarcoxie Nursery. Jonathon’s legal cannabis experience has allowed him to develop breakthrough cultivation techniques that will pave the way for unique strains of medical marijuana to help Missourians live healthier, happier lives.

Learn more about Sarcoxie Nursery at