Amendment 3 was approved by Missouri voters in November 2022, allowing Missourians to cultivate and use cannabis for adults over 21. In a recent news release, Missouri wants to add “microbusinesses,” allowing marginalized or under-represented individuals to participate in the legal cannabis market.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was assigned to create a lottery system for granting a limited number of small business licenses. A microbusiness license allows an individual or entity to open a cannabis facility and grow cannabis plants on their property.
The state of Missouri offers two different types of licenses for micro businesses: Dispensary and Wholesale.
A dispensary license authorizes businesses to purchase, possess, sell, transport, and distribute cannabis products in accordance with the rules of Missouri Cannabis Regulations Title 10. The license also allows dispensaries to operate retail stores that offer various cannabis-related products such as flowers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, and more.
Wholesale licenses authorize businesses to engage in the process of cultivating and/or manufacturing cannabis products for medical or adult use.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has put in place a lottery system to randomly select applicants eligible for a microbusiness license. In the media release, the DHSS says, “The application window for the first round of microbusiness licenses will be July 27 – August 10, 2023. Application forms and instructions will be available by June 6. In October, DHSS will issue, via random lottery drawing, six microbusiness licenses in each of the eight Missouri congressional districts, for a total of 48 microbusiness licenses. Of the six in each district, two will be micro business dispensaries, and four will be wholesale facilities.”
Applications must be submitted online by midnight on the day of the deadline, or they will not be considered. Each applicant will be assigned a unique number and entered into the random selection pool. Applicants selected through this lottery process must meet all requirements outlined in Title 10 of Missouri Cannabis Regulations.
In order to apply for a microbusiness license, applicants must adhere to certain guidelines set by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). These include submitting an application fee ($1500), providing fingerprints, having a physical facility/location before applying, providing a proposed facility address and layout, submitting a detailed plan for the operation of the facility, and meeting other eligibility requirements, such as being over 21 years of age.
Microbusinesses provide access to the legal cannabis industry for those who might otherwise not have access due to lack of capital or are victims of the war on drugs. In addition, it serves as an example of how governments are increasingly looking for ways to protect vulnerable populations through legislation.
With Missouri looking to add these microbusiness licenses soon, it has taken steps toward creating a fairer system that advances social justice.
The process will not only provide individuals with the opportunity to open a micro business and join the legal marijuana market, but it also promotes economic development in underserved communities by providing them with access to jobs and business opportunities.
In 2024 and 2025, Missouri will grant an additional 48 microbusiness licenses to increase access to the legal cannabis industry further. These licenses are specifically aimed at individuals who have suffered from the failed war on drugs, including those with prior criminal records due to minor marijuana offenses.
For more information about microbusiness licensing and application requirements, visit Cannabis.Mo.Gov.
Since the passage of Amendment 3, Missouri Cannabis has become a nationwide success story. With medical marijuana now being accessible to thousands of individuals who previously did not have access, this industry has become an important part of the state’s economy.
The introduction of micro business licenses is only adding to this growth as it gives more people access to the industry and provides opportunities for small entrepreneurs who were previously unable to participate in the legal cannabis market.
The addition of these businesses will create jobs and generate economic activity that can help stimulate local economies across Missouri. We look forward to seeing what innovative products and services these new micro businesses bring!
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