In November 2018, the citizens of Missouri approved Amendment 2, which will allow qualified patients with a debilitating medical condition to use medical marijuana under the supervision of their doctor. What Amendment 2 did not do was legalize marijuana use by the general public, only by qualified patients. Amendment 2 also provided a minimum number of dispensaries, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities that would be established in the state, along with some general guidelines, however each community is tasked with developing their own ordinances to address zoning rules.
By July 4, 2019, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) began accepting qualifying patient and primary caregiver ID applications. On August 3, DHSS will being accepting facility license applications. They had accepted pre-filed application fees in January and these funds are to assist in running the division of DHSS that oversees medical marijuana in the State of Missouri.
In an effort to provide clear guidance to those entities and individuals wishing to establish facilities in our community, the City has been working to better understand what issues may arise with the new facilities and how to best address them with the general public in mind. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing that will begin addressing the zoning requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation, manufacturing and testing within our city limits.
The City is not a participant in selecting approved businesses or entities. This work is done at the state level through their application process. What cities are responsible for is overseeing where these facilities may be located. The state has offered some general guidelines and with the adoption of zoning codes, each community may further state what is allowed. The Department of Health and Senior Services has chosen to limit the number of dispensaries in the state to 192; 24 per United States congressional district. Our district includes more than 30 counties in the northern part of the state. DHSS has limited the cultivation facilities to 60; infused product manufacturing to 86 facilities and will allow 10 testing facilities throughout the state.
The City Council is expected to adopt zoning code in early August prior to the August 3 application process beginning. This is being done to provide guidance to those individuals wishing to establish a business in our community.
Medical Marijuana Ordinances – update