Missouri refuses to disclose names of medical marijuana business applicants

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Missouri regulators, citing a provision in the state’s new medical marijuana constitutional amendment, won’t disclose the identities of those who’ve paid licensing fees to grow, process or sell MMJ.

The decision may well make it harder for medical cannabis entrepreneurs to learn the names of would-be rivals in Missouri’s new MMJ market.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services denied requests for copies of forms filed with licensing fees. The Associated Press filed a similar request.

Health department director Randall Williams cited the text of Amendment 2, which voters approved on Nov. 6. The legislation stipulates that the department “shall maintain the confidentiality of reports or other information” from applicants.

John Payne of New Approach Missouri, the group that successfully pushed for medical marijuana legalization, said the purpose of the provision was to keep sensitive information private. But he said he sees no reason why the names of applicants wouldn’t be made public.

State officials said they received more than 250 forms and over $2 million in application fees in the first week of accepting applications from those seeking to grow or distribute medical marijuana.

Companies can prepay license fees now, but official applications for licenses will not be accepted until August, according to the state.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily