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Timeline: Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program – Greenway – Greenway

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When Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 in November 2018 with over 65 percent of the vote, it set into motion the state’s regulatory program. In less than two years, the state created a from-scratch program designed from strong parts of other states’ programs. Check out the timeline below to see notable developments of the roll out.

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Comparing Missouri’s program roll out to other markets

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    Missouri Cannabis Trade Association forms, the great beyond lays before them. This wave of pioneers is assembled with some of the most passionate people, from all around the state of Missouri, on cannabis. They set out to be ready to hit the ground running with a clearly formed plan drawn from observations from all other states that have come before Missouri in this uphill battle.

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    Medical Cannabis laws go into effect, one month after voted on. The Department of Health and Senior Services held five public forums, engaged a wide variety of public agencies, and daily responded to public inquires and suggestions in order to draft emergency and proposed rules to effectuate the provisions of Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution. As a result of this collaborative process, final rules were submitted on May 24, 2019 to the Secretary of State for publication in the Missouri Register.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/rules.php

    View the full rules PDF at… https://www.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/AdRules/csr/current/19csr/19c30-95.pdf

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    With the November 2018 election, medical marijuana became legal in Missouri. The purpose of this report is to assist Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services with quantitative analyses of the market for medical marijuana. Specifically, we are charged with projecting the number of qualified patients and caregivers and the quantity of medical marijuana that will be needed to treat these patients. In doing so, we will use data from as many states as we can to identify market developments. In addition, it is critical that the key challenges facing Missouri regulators be brought forward—in particular the coexistence of the legal medical market and the illegal recreational market—so that best practices can be developed to help the legal market operate in the way in which it was intended. Overall, price and quantity provided in a timely manner are critical for the medical marijuana market to be as efficient as possible.

    Read more at… https://visitlitnaturals.com/mizzou-conducts-marijuana-market-study/

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    Wednesday afternoon, the Advisory Committee on Background of Principal Officers or Managers  gathered to review questions 1-18 of the Facility License Application Questions Draft and discuss three newly suggested questions to be added. The panel tasked with this review consists of Rev. Tommie Pierson, Sr., Clay Goddard, and Kim Grinston of the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration. Rev. Pierson did not attend the committee meeting. The committee was once again asked to evaluate each question, give feedback, and assign a value of importance as slightly important, important, highly important, or critically important.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/04/24/advisory-committee-on-background-of-principal-officers-or-managers-makes-significant-changes-to-application-questions/

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    Monday afternoon the Advisory Committee on Infused Product Manufacturing Facility Experience consisting of Eric Hueste, Chief of Bureau of Environmental Health Services for Department of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Chris Riley President of Riley and Rabel Consulting Services, Ray McCarty President of Associated Industries of Missouri, and General Counsel Richard Moore acting as moderator, met to discuss questions and weigh importance for questions 134-144.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/04/29/advisory-committee-on-infused-product-manufacturing-facility-experience/

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    Tuesday afternoon, the Advisory Committee on Site Security met at the Truman building in Jefferson City to review and approve questions 76-85 of the Facility License Application Questions Draft.

    The committee is listed as including Greene County Sheriff and President of the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, Jim Arnott, Lt. Mike Halford of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, and Tim Reagan. Reagan did not attend.

    Richard Moore, General Counsel at the Department of Health and Senior Services, acted as moderator and the committee handled the meeting expeditiously, approving all questions as read.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/04/30/advisory-committee-on-site-security-approves-all-questions/

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    Wednesday morning the final of 10 advisory committees established by DHSS met at the Governor’s Office Building in Jefferson City to determine the weight and measure of nearly 50 questions related to the business plans of aspiring medical marijuana licensees in the state of Missouri.

    The committee, comprised of Kelly Dyer with Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rick Nichols, President of River Region Credit Union, Leslie Tanner with Central Bank, and Michael Lanahan from the Department of Economic Development, joined moderator Richard Moore to review, amend, and finalize questions 19-75 of the Facility License Application Questions Draft.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/05/01/advisory-committee-on-business-plan-sets-financial-parameters-for-success/

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    Tuesday evening members of previous advisory committees met together at the Truman Office Building in Jefferson City to discuss scoring and measurement of applications for medical marijuana facilities.

    The committee, moderated by General Counsel Richard Moore and composed of Kelly Dyer, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Mike Halford, Department of Public Safety, Kimberly Grinston, Missouri Board of Pharmacy, Ken Palermo, Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Community and Public Health, Eric Hueste, Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Environmental Health Services, Hwei Ying Johnson Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Community and Public Health, received a series of emails over a 36 hour period containing 5 documents for review.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/05/15/medical-marijuana-scoring-advisory-committee-gives-final-approval/

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    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has released final rules for the medical marijuana program, which were filed today as emergency rules and as proposed rules with the Missouri Secretary of State.

    The final rules, which are eleven separate rules, are now posted on the DHSS website. The rules will go into effect on June 3, and will remain in effect until the proposed rules (which are the same rules as the emergency rules) and any changes based on public comment, are in effect.  Article XIV of the Constitution tasks DHSS with having all rules finalized by June 4. A paper version of online facility application forms will be available on the DHSS website on or before June 4. Public comment on the proposed rules will be accepted during the month of July, and a public hearing will be held on the proposed rules. DHSS will begin accepting facility applications on August 3, per guidelines set in the constitutional amendment.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/05/24/dhss-releases-final-rules-for-the-implementation-of-amendment-2/

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    Monday afternoon, the Office of Administration posted a request for proposal for bidders to submit their proposals in an effort to secure an entity to grade and score facility applications for the medical marijuana program in Missouri on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. The state describes the RFP as an attempt to, “obtain the services of an independent contracting firm to blindly review and score Medical Marijuana Facility Applications for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program.”

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/06/10/state-opens-bidding-for-medical-marijuana-facility-application-scoring-services/

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    State re-issues RFP for blind application scorers. The Request for Proposal for the blind scorers of medical marijuana facilities has been re-issued after the State of Missouri received no bids for the contract. The RFP “is to obtain the services of an independent contracting firm to blindly review and score Medical Marijuana Facility Applications for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program.”

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/07/01/state-re-issues-rfp-for-blind-application-scorers/

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    The State began receiving medical marijuana facility applications on August 3, receiving 12 applications in the first 48 hours.

    Cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary and testing applications continue to be accepted until to Aug. 17, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. All applications will be filled out directly on the secure, online registry.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/08/05/state-receives-12-applications-in-first-48-hours/

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    Thirty comments were submitted and taken into consideration on the Department of Health and Senior Services Medical Marijuana Division rulemaking emergency rules filed earlier in 2019. Most of the comments resulted in rule amendments or tweaks, but many sections had no comments reflected in the December 2 Missouri Register. These amendments were to the July 1 emergency rules and set up the rules as new proposed rules, effective in 30 days. 

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/12/03/dhss-amends-emergency-rules-in-newly-released-proposed-rules/

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    The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has completed the process of issuing the first round of certifications for medical marijuana transportation facilities. Transportation applications can be submitted at any time. The department will review and approve or deny applications when received from this point forward.

    Transportation facilities whose applications are approved have been notified by email to the email addresses of the individual who created the User Account in the Medical Marijuana Registry Portal, the individual listed in the application as the Primary Contact, and at least one other individual identified in the application.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/news/newsitem/uuid/b34d8a5d-55d5-4868-bcf4-85b7b032588c/dhss-announces-certification-of-medical-marijuana-transportation-facilities

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    The Department of Health and Senior Services released the rankings of cultivation facility applications on Thursday morning, awarding 60 applications with licenses. Over 550 applications were filed for the capped licenses.

    Those with denials may appeal the decision within 30 days.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2019/12/26/cultivators-first-round/

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    The State of Missouri released infused product manufacturing facility licenses Friday, January 10. Below is a list of facilities licensed. This post will be replaced with the full list, when released by DHSS.

    This information has been provided by the consultants or applicants and has not been verified by the DHSS.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/01/10/state-releases-manufacturing-licenses/

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    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has begun the process of issuing the first round of certifications for medical marijuana seed-to-sale entities.

    A seed-to-sale tracking system is a software system designed to perform functions necessary to fulfill a licensed or certified facility’s responsibilities in tracking medical marijuana from either the seed or immature plant stage until the medical marijuana is sold to a qualifying patient or primary caregiver.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/01/31/dhss-issues-certifications-for-medical-marijuana-seed-to-sale-entities/

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    The Department of Health and Senior Services uploaded a revised dispensary award list on Monday, January 27. The new list corrects an error by denying a license awarded in error and includes one new approval.

    An applicant group was mistakenly awarded 6 dispensary facility licenses – one more than the state’s cap. The freed up license was awarded by DHSS to LSL Management LLC at 14173 Manchester Road in Manchester. LSL Management was awarded three dispensary facility licenses total, all located in the St. Louis area (St. Peters, Ballwin, and Manchester). LSL was previously awarded a first-round cultivation facility license.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/01/27/dhss-corrects-dispensary-license-award-error/

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    The winning applicants set to become licensed cannabis business in Missouri have been announced over the December and January months.

    The cannabis community and the denied applicants have expressed great concern about discrepancies in the scoring process upon hearing many of the announcements, hence the multiple lawsuits filed against the Department of Health and Senior Services.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/01/22/scoring-takes-center-stage-in-appeals/

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    DHSS posted a new draft rule for public comment last week, this one addressing physician investigations.

    Like other programs and public input processes, the rules propose complaints be made through the Department website.

    The rule goes on to lay the framework for the department’s investigation of physician complaints. Currently, physician or psychiatrist complaints are handled by the Board of Healing Arts of the Board of Psychiatry within the Division of Professional Registration beneath the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. Both boards have the power to suspend or revoke the license to practice in the state.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/02/28/new-draft-rule-creates-dhss-protocol-for-physician-complaints/

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    814/845 appeals filed

    With widespread reports of scoring irregularities and hundreds of appeals already filed by unsuccessful applicants, the Missouri House’s government oversight committee began holding hearings in early February to examine the roll out of the medical marijuana program.

    Lyndall Fraker, the state’s medical marijuana czar, was grilled on a range of topics — from why a private company was hired to score applications to how the state will handle the more than 800 appeals of denied licenses filed so far.

    Read more at… https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article240730291.html#storylink=cpy

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    Those who have been awarded licenses are required to attend a Facility License & Compliance Welcome Meeting in Jefferson City at the DoubleTree in order to correctly kick off Missouri’s medical program. 

    The meeting will be conducted by DHSS, and all licensed facilities – testing, cultivation, manufacturing, dispensaries, and transportation – must be in attendance. Each license or certified facility is allowed to register up to two people for the meeting due to space. 

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/02/27/mandatory-meetings-mark-last-hurdle-before-inspection-schedulings/

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    The Department held a mandatory Medical Marijuana Facilities Welcome Meeting in Jefferson City for all facility licensees. Each facility was represented by two staff members of their choosing per license. Attendees were provided an opportunity to meet the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation’s Facility Licensing and Compliance team; learn about program policies and procedures; and network with other licensees. Other state agencies including the Departments of Agriculture, Labor and Industrial Relations, Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Revenue also attended the meeting to provide the State’s new industry with information on their respective regulations and requirements, as well as information to help their new business in Missouri. A great resource for these and other new Missouri businesses is the state’s Open for Business portal that is intended to help businesses navigate government.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/journey.php

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    Missouri officially approved 41,107 applications to be a medical cannabis patient in the state in March 2020. There have been 44,474 total applications to the state. Over 41,000 Missourians now legally have access to a medicine that is so life-changing for them. An exciting piece of news is that the approval process has not been slowed at all by COVID-19’s impact. The state has averaged 1,000 patient approvals weekly since the end of June 2019 and is continuing momentum through the pandemic.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/03/24/missouri-patient-approvals-break-40000/

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    The Missourians for a New Approach campaign may have to suspend their signature collection efforts for a 2020 ballot initiative legalizing adult-use marijuana.

    Campaign manager John Payne said in a statement that the ballot initiative campaign to support initiative petition 2020-128 will be suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions and be back for the next election in 2022.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/03/30/adult-use-campaign-explores-options-including-2022/

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    The Department launched its Missouri Medical Marijuana Program Patient Services Weekly Newsletter. Sign up here to become a member and stay up to date with weekly updates from the patient services team. Subscription members have the capability to log into their subscription account and view archived copies of past editions of the newsletter. The Department also launched two new webpages. On the About Us page, visitors can learn about the history of the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program, the department’s organizational structure, and priorities for the program. The Feedback page provides visitors the opportunity to take short surveys about the program’s customer service and website.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/journey.php

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    The Department held a call with representatives from Missouri law enforcement associations, Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections. The purpose of the call was to provide updates on program implementation and guidance on Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program rules.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/journey.php

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    JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has settled two appeals of medical marijuana facility application denials. As a result of these settlements, DHSS will issue one new medical marijuana testing facility license and will exchange an existing medical marijuana dispensary license for a new medical marijuana dispensary license.

    Read the full story here… https://mogreenway.com/2020/04/14/dhss-settles-two-medical-marijuana-facility-appeals/

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    As commencement requests are scheduled, the time for verifications begins for license holders.

    The issuance of a license or certification does not authorize the facility to begin operations. A facility will be granted final approval to operate upon passing a commencement inspection. If the facility does not pass a commencement inspection within one (1) year of the department issuing the license, the license may be revoked. All individuals who need an agent ID card per rule, including contractors, should begin applying for their cards once the commencement inspection has been scheduled.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/facilities.php

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    In an email to Missouri NORML, state president Dan Viets, a Columbia attorney, announced the adult-use campaign – 2020-128 – has been suspended due to the viral pandemic.

    Additionally, Viets also announced that the planned April 22 lobby day to the state capitol is also canceled, noting hope that there were no threats to patients from the scaled-back legislative session.

    Red more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/04/16/adult-use-campaign-suspended-norml-lobby-day-canceled/

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    With less than two weeks remaining in the regular session of the state legislature, legislation is moving fast in Jefferson City with amendment changes – a few of which can be considered a win for parts of Missouri’s blooming industry. Other bills remain in play that cause concern for patient rights and patient access. A deal has been reached in the state legislature in what has been called the “Edibles Bill.” The new language addressing edibles includes specific guidelines for labeling and packaging medical marijuana products.

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/05/05/compromise-reached-on-edibles-compromise-eyes-turn-to-employee-rights-lifting-caps/

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    In a letter to the Department of Health and Senior Services, a state legislative committee is requesting to review everything from specific dates of correspondence to all applications submitted.

    “Having conducted our initial hearings to understand the Department of Health and Senior Services’ process in awarding Missouri’s medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary licenses, there remained too many unanswered questions. Instead of calling more witnesses who could not or would not answer questions or who would provide questionable answers because of their obvious conflict of interest the Committee agreed that a request for documents were required to ask the right questions for future hearings.”

    Read more at… https://mogreenway.com/2020/05/11/house-raises-more-questions-than-answers-with-probe/

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    The Department published adjusted fee schedules for facilities and patients.  Article XIV Section 1, states, “…application and license fees shall be increased or decreased each year by the percentage of increase or decrease from the end of the previous calendar year of the Consumer Price Index, or successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency”.  The Department will annually implement fee adjustments to align with the Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program’s budget cycle and State’s fiscal year of July 1 – June 30, and will annually publish new fees each Spring.  The Consumer Price Index rose 2.3 percent from 2018 to 2019.  This increase was applied to licensure fees for July 2, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

    Read more at… https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/journey.php

This timeline appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Greenway Magazine.

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