Missouri marijuana microbusiness licensing process begins Thursday

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Aspiring marijuana entrepreneurs in Missouri may apply for the state’s first lottery for microbusiness licenses starting Thursday.

The current round will issue 48 cannabis microbusiness licenses.

A total of 144 such licenses will be issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) through three random lotteries held over 18 months, according to details released by the department.

The licenses will be split across Missouri’s eight congressional districts, with four wholesale licenses and two dispensary licenses per district.

Applicants do not have to be Missouri residents, although majority owners must meet at least one eligibility criteria such as having a disability connected to military service, having been convicted of a nonviolent marijuana offense or residing in a qualifying ZIP code.

The application period will be open until Aug. 10, and the lottery drawing and announcement of results will take place between Aug. 11 and Oct. 2.

Microbusiness licenses will be awarded between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4, according to the DHSS.

The application fee is $1,500, and applicants not selected by the lottery will be eligible for a refund under certain conditions.

The drawing will be held by the Missouri Lottery.