Missouri to issue 48 marijuana microbusiness licenses in October

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Missouri plans to license an initial round of 48 cannabis microbusinesses, to be awarded via a lottery in October.

The microbusiness licenses “are designed to allow marginalized or under-represented individuals to participate in the legal marijuana market,” according to new release issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

Microbusiness retail licenses will be available to medical marijuana and adult-use retailers; wholesale licenses will permit cannabis cultivation and manufacturing.

Microbusiness wholesale facilities may grow up to 250 flowering cannabis plants at once, according to a cannabis microbusiness FAQ offered by the DHSS.

The regulator lists a variety of eligibility requirements for the microbusiness license type, including prioritizing people with previous marijuana offenses.

The first application window for microbusiness licenses will be open from July 27 through Aug. 10, with application forms available by June 6, according to the DHSS.

“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,” the agency noted.

“Of the six in each district, two will be microbusiness dispensaries, and four will be wholesale facilities.”

The DHSS plans to issue 48 more microbusiness licenses per year in 2024 and 2025.

Adult-use marijuana sales in Missouri launched in February, and combined recreational and medical cannabis sales totaled $126.2 million in March.

As with many other new adult-use cannabis markets, Missouri consumers experienced product shortages and high prices after the market expanded beyond medical sales.