Department issues guidance for commenced facilities
Over the past year. the Department of Health and Senior Services Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation has issued guidance letters advising licensees on how they interpret and enforce the rules and regulations defined in state statute as it pertains to the implementation of the medical marijuana program in Missouri.
On Wednesday, the Department issued a new letter, Guidance Letter 11: Material Deviation – Post Commencement.
In June 2020, the Department issued Guidance Letter 5: Material Deviation. In the letter, the Department writes it “currently considers a material change to be one that impacts the facility’s ability to fulfill a key aspect of its proposed operations.” The letter further explains that, “Once a facility has implemented its proposals and become operational, other considerations may become more important in applying this rule. Therefore, a licensee should expect this to be the Department’s guidance at least until that licensee is operational.”
Guidance Letter 5 went on to list examples of what would be considered material deviations.
In Guidance Letter 11, the Department moves forward from Guidance Letter 5 – establishing how those “other considerations” pertain to the application of 19 CSR 30-95.040(4)(C)3 for facilities that have already been commenced.
For commenced operators, changes to a facility’s physical design that add space to a structure or add a new structure to a facility, change or alter the use of a space, and any change that affects the physical security of the facility will be considered material deviations.
The guidance goes on to state, “If a physical design change does not implicate any of the above, it is unlikely an application for change will be necessary. For instance, additions of a vehicle, changes in operations, or changes in
contracts/agreements would not likely require a material deviation change request.”
An important note, the Department’s guidance letter specifies that, “While most material deviation applications for operational facilities will no longer focus on the licensee’s initial application, please keep in mind that the licensee’s initial proposal, as modified through change requests, will always remain important for renewal of the license.”
It will be interesting to see how the Department begins to enforce unfulfilled obligations for license renewals.
Read the full Guidance Letter below: