Two Missouri medical cannabis applicants win permits after court battle

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Two medical cannabis license applicants in Missouri will be able to do business in the state after winning a protracted court battle.

The Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission awarded Heya Kirksville and Heya Excello medical cannabis cultivation licenses more than a year after the state rejected their applications, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Heya argued that it gave the same responses on its applications as successful applicants had.

“Heya Excello received a lower score, as compared to other applicants, for identical or nearly identical answers on 11 questions,” the Hearing Commission noted in its ruling.

Many applicants who didn’t receive licenses raised concerns about Missouri’s licensing scheme, specifically that the state hired a third party to score marijuana business applications.

Missouri’s medical marijuana program rollout and October 2020 sales launch have been mired in legal challenges, including fights over cultivation license limits and fee squabbles with Metrc over plant ID tags.

The state has paid millions of dollars in legal fees to defend its decisions, the Dispatch reported.