Cannabis microbusiness license application process opens Thursday
With the passing of Amendment 3 in November 2022, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was tasked with creating a lottery process to grant a limited number of new small business licenses called “microbusinesses.” Electronic applications will be accepted beginning this Thursday. More information defining this license type is available on the microbusiness webpage.
In October 2023, a total of 48 microbusiness licenses will be issued for the first round of application/lottery and licensure; six microbusiness license applicants will be selected within each of the eight Missouri congressional districts. Of the six in each district, two will be microbusiness dispensaries, and four will be microbusiness wholesale facilities.
Microbusiness Application Requirements
The Department will accept microbusiness applications electronically, through the online registry portal from July 27 – Aug. 10, 2023.
Ahead of the application window, the Department would like to advise microbusiness applicants of the following:
- Applicants are encouraged to review information about general facility application requirements, micro-business specific eligibility criteria and available application form examples prior to completing an online microbusiness application.
o All microbusiness application information is available on the microbusiness landing page and is updated regularly.
o Rules for all facility applications can be found in 19 CSR 100-1.060.
o Rules specific to microbusiness facility applications can be found in 19 CSR 100-1.190.
- Per Article XIV section 2.4(12) an entity, which includes individuals, may apply to the Department for and obtain only one license to operate a marijuana microbusiness facility, which may be either a microbusiness dispensary facility or a microbusiness wholesale facility. An applicant may not have an owner who is also an owner of an existing medical, comprehensive, or another microbusiness marijuana facility license or certification. This limitation ensures everyone who applies has an equal chance at obtaining a microbusiness facility license.
- Per Article XIV, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution, microbusiness applications must include a $1,500 application fee, due at the time of application submission.
Lottery Process for Selecting Microbusiness License Winners
Pursuant to Article XIV, winners of microbusiness licenses are to be selected via random lottery drawing. To ensure the integrity of the applicant selection process, the Missouri Lottery will conduct the drawing without reference to the identities of the applicants.
After the application submission window closes, qualifying applicants will be sorted into both congressional districts and license type (wholesale or dispensary); then, assigned a sequential applicant identifier within those groups. Each group will be considered its own lottery set, for a total of 16 lottery drawings.
All timely applications submitted with an application fee will be entered into the lottery drawing. Untimely applications or those submitted without an application fee will be denied and will not go to lottery.
Applicants entered into the lottery will be listed in the order drawn within each congressional district. All applicants will receive an email notice prior to being sent to lottery with their applicant identifier.
The lottery will take place no later than Sept. 1, 2023. The lottery drawing results will be posted to the Department’s website as soon as they are available.
The Department will review applications after the lottery drawing; licenses will be issued no later than Oct. 4, 2023.
For more information about microbusiness licensing and application requirements, visit Cannabis.Mo.Gov. Those needing assistance with eligibility requirements or application forms can contact CannabisFAS@health.mo.gov.
Consumer Safety & Education
While the adult-use cannabis program was built based on guidelines approved by Missouri voters, DHSS, as the state’s public health authority, asks consumers to consume cannabis with caution. Adult consumers are encouraged to review the health effects of cannabis prior to consuming. Some important points of caution include the following:
- Individuals should not use cannabis if pregnant as doing so may harm the baby’s health.
- Individuals should not operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. This remains illegal and dangerous as driving requires a person’s full attention to stay safe and alert. Marijuana can slow one’s reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination and distort one’s perception.
- Adult consumers should ensure products are not accessible to those under age 21. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the teen brain is actively developing and continues to develop until around age 25. Marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood may harm the developing brain.
- Edibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana, have some different risks than smoked marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. Unlike smoked marijuana, edibles can:
- Take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, so some people may eat too much, which can lead to poisoning and/or serious injury.
- Cause intoxicating effects that last longer than expected, depending on the amount ingested, the last food eaten, and medications or alcohol used at the same time.
Children, adults and pets can mistake marijuana products, particularly edibles, for regular food or candy. Consuming marijuana can make children very sick. They may have problems walking or sitting up or may have a hard time breathing. If you have concerns of possible poisoning, call the Missouri Poison Center at 800-222-1222, or 911 if it is an emergency.