Missouri has had a rocky road to cannabis reform and medical cannabis expansion so far, but now, the state is poised for success with their own, commercial cannabis grow facility now fully up and operational.
The company operating the new grow, BeLeaf Medical LLC, is based in St. Louis. The grow opened on Thursday of last week and is poised to supply much of the state’s cannabis.
“We’re hopeful that (at the) end of the third quarter, early fourth quarter, we’ll be able to supply dispensaries with product for general consumption,” Ken Riggs, president of the company, explained to the News-Leader in Missouri.
The grow site is in Earth City, a suburb of St. Louis, and the customer-facing brand name is Sinse, a reference to Sinsemilla cannabis flowers. They have been around for four years, and they’re already approved for CBD cultivation in the state. They also hold 10 of the state’s commercial grow licenses, and they are set up to cultivate, manufacture infused products, and operate dispensaries. They also had to undergo an intense inspection process to get their doors open, something that they assure patients is quite thorough.
“It is very detail-oriented, it is extremely — I wouldn’t call it challenging necessarily, but the amount of effort that is required to put forward to get through commencement is substantial,” Riggs said.
While the company already has plant genetics and clones that meet the state’s requirements, Riggs also hopes to do business with others in the industry in order to provide lots of options and grow his network. He also cautioned that it will take some time, but he plans to expand and be a major, legal cannabis supplier in the state.
“[Cannabis cultivation] isn’t like flipping on a light switch. You have to ramp up just a little,” he said.
Plans For More Cultivation Centers
As much ground as Sinse plans to cover, southern Missouri is working on getting a grow going as well. BD Health Ventures and ERBA Holdings LLC are working together to open another cultivation center and accompanying dispensaries, with headquarters based in Humansville and other locations in Neosho and Springfield. Their plan is to try and supply the southwest part of the state with medical cannabis. The company plans to have 29 full-time staff members by the end of the year. The companies will operate under the Flora Farms brand banner.
However, despite these positive steps forward, there is still controversy surrounding legal cannabis in Missouri. Both lawmakers and cannabis community members have come after the Missouri health department, claiming that there are conflicts of interest involved with awarding cannabis licenses.
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While it’s unclear when all this will be resolved, or whether having an operation that is up and running will completely solve the issue, Missouri patients are still excited that the industry is able to move forward.