In 2018, Missouri set in motion the Medical Marijuana Program when voters passed Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana and opening the door for businesses to cultivate cannabis. By following the proper steps, you can apply for a business license to cultivate marijuana in Missouri.
Below, we’ve provided a general outline of what it takes to obtain your Missouri grower license and maintain a compliant business. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
Missouri Marijuana Laws for Growers
Missouri has become an idyllic market for expansion. According to officials, most applications were submitted by large, multistate cannabis operators and wealthy residents.
To compete, be sure you have a complete understanding of what it takes to start a cannabis cultivation business. A few notable regulations include:
- DHSS has set the number of licenses at 60 cultivation facilities, 192 dispensaries, 86 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities and 10 testing laboratory facilities.
- All complete applications received by the department submitted during the application period will be approved or denied within one hundred fifty (150) days of that application’s complete submission.
- Clear tracking of the plants from planting to harvest and transfer must be adequately documented in a system of record and submitted to the state through METRC.
Types of Marijuana Grow Licenses
There is a universal cultivation license for the state of Missouri. Cultivation facilities may cultivate medical marijuana in indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse facilities. Below are a few key requirements to keep in mind:
- Each indoor facility utilizing artificial lighting will be limited to no more than thirty thousand (30,000) square feet of flowering plant canopy space.
- Each outdoor facility utilizing natural lighting will be limited to no more than two thousand eight hundred (2,800) flowering plants.
- Each greenhouse facility using a combination of natural and artificial lighting will be limited to, at the election of the licensee, either no more than two thousand eight hundred (2,800) flowering plants or no more than thirty thousand (30,000) square feet of flowering plant canopy space.
- If a cultivation facility is operating with multiple cultivation licenses in the same location, the cultivation facility’s size limitations will be multiplied by the number of licenses.
- Facilities must keep records, by month and by batch, of all pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other agricultural chemicals applied to marijuana plants and growing medium during production and processing at its facility for at least five (5) years.
- Cultivation facilities may only transport medical marijuana— 1. That the facility cultivated; 2. To a dispensary, testing, or manufacturing facility.
For a complete list of regulations, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.
Missouri Commercial Grow License Cost
The license application fee for growers and processors ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. The license application fee for dispensaries and infused product manufacturing facilities is $6,000 to $10,000. For a complete fee schedule, see here.
Each facility is required to hold a separate license. However, applicants are permitted to hold up to three licenses and multiple licenses may be utilized in a single facility.
Once awarded, a cultivation license is valid for 3 years after, which time it must be renewed.
Missouri Commercial Grow License Application Requirements
Currently, the state of Missouri is not issuing any new cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, or testing licenses.
Now is the perfect opportunity to start laying out your cultivation business plan and preparing as much documentation as possible when the application window reopens.
All applications for facility licenses or certifications and renewals of licenses or certifications must include at least the following information:
- Name and address of the primary contact for the applicant facility;
- Legal name of the facility, including fictitious business names and a certificate of good standing from the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State;
- A completed Ownership Structure Form, included herein, which must show the applicant entity is majority owned by Missouri residents, and a written description or visual representation of the facility’s ownership structure including all entities listed on the Ownership Structure Form;
- For each owner claiming Missouri residency for purposes of subsection (C) of this section, a statement that the owner has resided in Missouri for at least one year and does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, as well as proof of current Missouri residency, which shall be shown by:
- A copy of a valid Missouri driver’s license, a Missouri Identification Card, a current Missouri motor vehicle registration, or a recent Missouri utility bill; or
- If none of these proofs are available, some other evidence of residence in Missouri, which shall be approved or denied at the discretion of the director of the medical marijuana program as sufficient proof of residency;
- A list of all facilities licensed or certified or applying for licensure of certification in Missouri to cultivate, manufacture, dispense, or test medical marijuana that are or will be under substantially common control, ownership, or management as the applicant. For each facility listed, a written explanation of how the facility is under substantially common control, ownership, or management as the applicant, with supporting documentation;
- Proposed address of the facility and
- A map of the surrounding area that shows compliance with the facility location requirements of subsection (4)(B) of this rule or 19 CSR 30-95.100(2)(C); or
- Documentation showing a local government requirement different than the requirement in subsection (4)(B) of this rule or 19 CSR 30-95.100(2)(C) and a map of the surrounding area that shows compliance with the facility location requirements of the local government; and
- An attestation that the proposed address of the facility complies with the facility location requirements of subsection (4)(B) of this rule or 19 CSR 30-95.100(2)(C);
- Descriptions, schematics, or blueprints for the facility;
- If the city, town, or county in which the facility will be located has enacted zoning restrictions applicable to the facility, the text of the restrictions and a description of how the facility plans to comply with those restrictions;
- An attestation that no individual who owns the facility, in whole or in part, has a disqualifying felony offense;
- A statement confirming that all owners who hold any portion of the economic or voting interest of the facility who will also have access to medical marijuana or the medical marijuana facility, and all officers, directors, board members, managers, and employees identified in the application, have submitted fingerprints within the previous six months for a state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check to be conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol;
- All facility evaluation information required by 19 CSR 30- 95.025(4); and
- All applicable fees or proof that all applicable fees have already been paid.
It’s best you are fully prepared to start your marijuana business before applying so that the application gets approved right away. Check out your state and local regulations for a full application checklist.
Marijuana Compliance in Missouri
Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program (MMRP) is working with METRC to implement the seed-to-sale track and trace requirements of Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution. While the MMRP is responsible for the general regulation of facilities, including overseeing compliance with regulations related to the statewide track and trace system, METRC is responsible for implementing the technical and operational components of the tracking system.
Metrc is an integrated system that allows for real-time tracking and tracing of marijuana plants and products. Licensees attach unique, serialized tags to every plant or wholesale package. These tags feature readable text, barcodes, and/or RFID chips to identify each plant and package physically and online uniquely.
Users then enter information related to those plants and packages, including weight, transfer of custody, and test results in the METRC software platform. That information is available to the licensee and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
While helpful for plant tracking, METRC is merely a compliance and reporting system for the state. Proper business management tools, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, can help streamline and facilitate compliance in addition to overseeing your entire operation.
How does 365 Cannabis fulfill this?
365 Cannabis is a true ERP that delivers a complete business management solution, facilitates compliance, and ensures timely and accurate reporting. With a centralized system, you’ll be able to reduce manual and double entry, nearly eliminating human error.
With a true cannabis ERP software that goes above and beyond seed to sale, you’ll be able to increase efficiency, improve productivity, and grow your cannabis cultivation business.
This article is meant to be a guideline for your reference and is not legal advice. Read more about Missouri marijuana regulations and prepare your application with a cannabis business consultant and/or law firm.